Boosting air quality in and around America’s busiest freight hubs

Terminal trucks are designed to pull cargo shipping containers and semi-trailers in freight operations. With the power these trucks demand, most run on diesel which comes at a cost: huge amounts of diesel exhaust, one of the worst pollutants and a major source of poor air quality. Low-speed, high-power operations in terminal truck settings also emit far more exhaust than diesel trucks running at highway speeds – which not only threatens communities surrounding industrial zones, but is also a health risk for workers on site. The impact on driver satisfaction and the savings from eliminating diesel fuel and maintenance costs make all-electric terminal trucks an attractive business proposition while improving the air quality for the entire region.

Project Overview

Three fleets received funding via a U.S. Dept. of Energy grant to deploy four all-electric terminal trucks in Chicago and the Kansas City metro. In addition to hosting a community workshop, MEC will create outreach materials based on the real-world experiences of our project partners so fleets across the country can access reliable data in support of cleaner, more efficient freight handling. An all-electric demo truck is also available for use at interested fleet sites across the U.S. at no cost except a shipping fee up to $500.

Project Partners:
The vehicles funded under this grant are designed and built by Orange EV. Based in Riverside, MO, Orange EV was the first American company to commercially build, deploy and service 100% electric Class-8 electric vehicles. PennState University will analyze the telematics data, supported by interviews and operational evaluation, from the participating fleets below:

  • Lazer Spot, a leading provider of yard management in North America, deployed two trucks at a manufacturing facility and distribution center in Chicago.
  • Hirschbach Motor Lines, a private long-haul carrier specializing in refrigerated and other specialty cargoes, deployed their truck at a client site in Wyandotte County, KS.
  • Johnson County deployed their truck at the new Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility in Leawood, KS.

Project Timeline

To learn more about the project or to request a presentation, contact Emily Wolfe at MEC.

This project is the result of partnerships from Kansas City to Chicago, with the goal of demonstrating the feasibility of battery-powered terminal trucks. The project is led by Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC), a nonprofit organization with a 37-year history of transforming energy use in the building and transportation sectors in the Kansas City region and beyond.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Award Number DE-EE0008887.