In partnership with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), Mack Trucks says it will demonstrate two zero-emission capable Class 8 drayage trucks as part of a California-based heavy-duty truck development project designed to help reduce air pollution at freight-intensive locations throughout the state.
The project is funded through a $23.6 million grant from the State of California.
SCAQMD will partner with four separate air quality districts in California to work toward the first large-scale demonstration of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks. As one of the truck manufacturers selected to receive funding, the Mack trucks will focus on ultra-low NOx technologies, while advancing plug-in hybrid and geo-fencing capabilities explored in previous and on-going projects.
Dennis Slagle, president of Mack Trucks, says the goals of the zero-emission capable drayage truck project include reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at locations with heavy freight volumes, including ports, rail yards and the freight corridors connecting them.
“This unique collaborative effort is aimed at fostering the development of advanced zero-emission truck technologies that are vital to improving air quality in communities near our busy freight corridors,” adds Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles City Councilman and SCAQMD Board Member. “Cleaner truck fleets on our roadways are important for air quality and climate goals, and essential to protecting public health.”
Mack’s efforts will build upon its experiences in designing and demonstrating a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) drayage truck based on a Mack Pinnacle daycab model.
The Mack drayage truck was built as part of an earlier SCAQMD-sponsored project, and is capable of zero-emission operation thanks to the integration of a Mack MP7 diesel engine with a parallel hybrid system and lithium-ion battery pack. Additional lightweight and aerodynamic-enhancing components were also included to extend the benefits of the hybrid technology and maximize zero-emission range.
The truck utilizes geo-fencing capabilities similar to those enabled by Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics platform to switch between zero-emission and hybrid operating modes. Geo-fencing establishes a virtual perimeter as determined by GPS coordinates. The onboard hardware can then identify each time the truck passes through the perimeter.
When inside the zero-emission geo-fence – which includes locations with the heaviest freight traffic, such as a port – the truck operates in pure electric mode. When outside the zero-emission geo-fence – such as on the way to a rail yard or distribution center – the diesel engine is enabled, allowing for hybrid operation and recharging of the batteries.
The Mack drayage truck, with its suite of integrated technologies, is currently undergoing evaluation and testing in a drayage fleet at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.