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Port and San Diego Port Tenants Association Celebrate New, Innovative Sustainable-Freight Vehicles to be used for Dole Cargo

Jul 26, 2018 07:24PM ● By Paul Spear
Port and San Diego Port Tenants Association Celebrate New, Innovative Sustainable-Freight Vehicles to be used for Dole Cargo

Ken Franke, Chairman, and Sharon Cloward, President, San Diego Port Tenants Association;  Rafael Castellanos, Chairman, and Randa Coniglio, CEO, Port of San Diego; Sarah Marsh, Dole Fresh Fruit Terminal Manager; Janea Scott, Commissioner, California Energy Commission; and Mitch Mitchell, Vice President, State Governmental Affairs and External Affairs, SDG&E; were among those participating in the celebration on July 26, 2018 at Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.  
CONTACT: Tanya Castaneda at (619 871-5871 or

B-roll and high-resolution photos available upon request.

The Port of San Diego and the San Diego Port Tenants Association held a special event Thursday, July 26, 2018 to celebrate the deployment of new sustainable-freight vehicles by Dole Fresh Fruit at the Port’s cargo terminal. The vehicles were funded by a $5.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission that was awarded to the San Diego Port Tenants Association. The event took place at the Port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal in San Diego.
This project supports cleaner air and less noise for surrounding communities. Powered by electricity, the new semi-trucks and fork lifts will help reduce air emissions by replacing gasoline and diesel-powered cargo-handling equipment at the Port of San Diego. These vehicles are also much quieter than their conventional counterparts. 
Speakers at the event included Kevin Faulconer, Mayor, City of San Diego; Rafael Castellanos, Chairman, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners; Deanna Spehn, Policy Director, Office of Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins; Janea Scott, Commissioner, California Energy Commission; Ken Franke, Chairman, San Diego Port Tenants Association; Sarah Marsh, Dole Fresh Fruit Terminal Manager; and Mitch Mitchell, Vice President, State Governmental Affairs and External Affairs, SDG&E.
“The San Diego region is known worldwide for its innovation and the Port of San Diego is demonstrating leadership in the maritime industrial sector with these sustainable-freight vehicles,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “I want to thank and recognize the San Diego Port Tenants Association for its teamwork in securing this important grant funding to assist five local businesses in operating cleaner and greener.”
“The Port of San Diego is a champion of the environment and we work closely with the California Energy Commission and our partner businesses to make their operations sustainable through cutting-edge technology like these sustainable-freight vehicles,” said Port Chairman Rafael Castellanos. “I am especially proud of the San Diego Port Tenants Association’s work to ensure that our tenants benefit from state funding for innovative projects. These businesses are good corporate citizens and forces for environmental change.”
The Port of San Diego is committed to clean technology as part of being a 21stCentury port, and Port businesses are industry leaders in deploying zero-emissions freight vehicles. Dole Fresh Fruit, a division of Dole Food Company, recently received the two new pieces of innovative sustainable-freight vehicles that will be used at its location at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

The California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) awarded $5.9 million to the San Diego Port Tenants Association to demonstrate a total of 10 electric vehicles, as well as intelligent transportation systems, at the Port. The program, which is celebrating its 10thanniversary this year, supports development and deployment of advanced transportation and fuel technologies throughout California.
The electric semi-trucks and fork lifts will be demonstrated at five Port businesses: Dole Fresh Fruit, Marine Group Boat Works, Pasha Automotive Group, TerminaLift, and Continental Maritime. The goal is for this demonstration project to encourage more maritime industrial businesses to adopt these clean transportation technologies, and to help manufacturers bring down the cost of zero-emissions vehicles.
These new freight vehicles will help the Port meet its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, implementing a Climate Action Plan adopted by the Port of San Diego in 2013. The vehicles and equipment are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 940 metric tons over the lifetime of the project. The Port of San Diego is in alignment with the State of California’s goals to reduce petroleum use and deploy cleaner freight vehicles and equipment.
The new battery-powered electric trucks were manufactured and assembled by BYD in Lancaster, Calif. The innovative BYD batteries are iron phosphate-based, which is better for the environment than other technologies because they are biodegradable at life’s end. They deliver safe, reliable power to all BYD vehicles and battery storage systems. Other partners in the demonstration are Efficient Drivetrains, Inc., from Milpitas, Calif.; and Transportation Power, Inc., from Escondido, Calif.; which are taking unpowered original equipment manufacturer vehicles and making them battery-electric. The ITS technologies being demonstrated are platooning and freight signal priority, both of which are currently under construction by Peloton Technology, LLC, out of Mountain View, Calif.
Including the two latest arrivals, there are currently a total of nine innovative sustainable-freight vehicles now in use within the Port of San Diego. Additional sustainable-freight vehicles funded by the California Energy Commission grant will be delivered later this year to various Port tenants.
“We want to thank the California Energy Commission for awarding this grant to our association in order to share this new, cleaner technology with businesses who otherwise might not be able to afford it,” said Ken Franke, Chairman of the San Diego Port Tenants Association. “Our businesses are committed to being good neighbors to the community and partners for a clean environment and a healthy bay.”
“This is a forward-thinking project supported by our state budget through the California Energy Commission,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins.  “I want to commend the Port of San Diego, the San Diego Port Tenants Association and the member businesses for setting an example for other ports and industrial businesses throughout the state with this sustainable-freight technology.”
“The California Energy Commission is proud to work with the San Diego Port Tenants Association and its partners to support the Port of San Diego’s transition to advanced, zero-emissions transportation technology," said California Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott. “With the help of an almost $6 million grant from the Energy Commission, this project will offer multiple port tenants the opportunity to see how zero-emission technology can improve the efficiency of their operations while supporting the climate goals of the state and port, and improving air quality at the port and in the surrounding community. It’s a win on multiple fronts.”
“Dole Fresh Fruit, a division of Dole Food Co., is proud to participate in this demonstration project to deploy sustainable-freight vehicles,” said Sarah Marsh, Dole’s terminal manager for Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. “Our company is committed to being a good environmental steward and we are always looking for ways to improve our operations and make them more sustainable.”
“Electric vehicles and equipment are only a viable option if there is sufficient charging infrastructure to support them, if drivers and businesses aren’t held back by range anxiety,” said Mitch Mitchell, SDG&E’s vice president of state government affairs and external affairs. “SDG&E is committed to partnering with local organizations like the Port and Port Tenants Association to build the necessary infrastructure to power everything from trucks and refrigerated trailers to passenger cars and buses.”


The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.


Port of San Diego Maritime is our gateway to the world—leading our working waterfront and facilitating the movement of goods and people, internationally and domestically.

Port Maritime businesses employ thousands of residents and generate billions of dollars per year for the regional economy, creating a prosperous global economic engine for all.

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