The Port of Virginia® is using four new all-electric trucks in its cargo operation at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) as part of the port’s larger effort of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040.
These are the first zero-emission vehicles in use at NIT, which has a fleet of 100 diesel yard tractors that are used to ferry containers around the terminal. The new vehicles -- MAFI T230e Electric Yard Tractors -- and the installation of charging infrastructure are another step toward The Port of Virginia’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040, which was announced last spring.
“Adding this equipment to our fleet of yard tractors allows us to retire some older units and move toward a greener future,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are always looking for innovative equipment, technology and processes to help attain our goal and do so ahead of our schedule.”
The new trucks went into operation Jan. 12 and will soon be outfitted with GPS (global positioning system) technology that will connect them with the terminal’s operating system. This will allow for location tracking and route mapping, which will drive efficiency.
The electric yard tractors were delivered by Current Trucking in December 2022 and will offset 266 metric tons of carbon per year, which is equivalent to more than 300 acres of forest sequestration. Current Trucking deploys electric vehicles in the Class 3–8 segment and offers solutions inclusive of EV truck procurement and charging infrastructure.
The port is already using some hybrid equipment in its cargo operation and sourcing some of its electricity for cargo operations at Virginia Inland Port, in Front Royal, VA, and its terminals in the Norfolk Harbor from renewable sources. By 2024, the port will fulfill all of its electricity needs at its marine terminals from renewable recourses, well ahead of the goal’s original 2032 “SCOPE 2” deadline.
• Scope 2 emissions are indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling.
Last spring the port announced its commitment to reducing emissions through the electrification of assets, implementation of zero-emission technology and purchasing energy from renewable sources. The port’s 2040 carbon neutrality goal focuses on protecting local communities and the environment through fundamental changes in how the port operates.
“Our effort aligns us with some of the world’s leading ocean carriers, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and multinational corporations. It is also a strategic business decision,” Edwards said. “Consumers worldwide are demanding clean, green supply chains and our work puts The Port of Virginia at the forefront of this change.”