LONG BEACH, CA – The Port of Los Angeles is investing in a small fleet of electric yard-hostlers and on-road trucks to spur development of zero-emissions equipment serving the ports and the goods movement industry. Harbor commissioners have approved a $5.38 million deal with Santa Ana-based Balqon Corp. to deliver 20 electric yard-tractors and five on-road electric trucks. Under the three-year agreement, the tractors are expected to be delivered within six months, and the on-road trucks within nine months, according to www.cunninghamreport.com.

The port’s commitment follows successful testing of a prototype yard hostler over a six-week period. The unit was evaluated for endurance, speed, handling, and load-capacity based on 68,000 pounds of cargo at speeds higher than 25 miles per hour. During the initial phase, the prototype logged 300 hours and about 150 miles.

Los Angeles and the South Coast Air Quality Management District shared the $527,000 cost of the prototype tests.

The fleet of tractors will be subject to large-scale, onsite testing due to be conducted at the YTI Terminal. Terms of the agreement call for Balqon to pay the Port of Los Angeles, a royalty of $1,000 per vehicle sold or leased to a third party.