Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Not All About the Electric Car

While battery-powered, along with alternative and renewable fuel, vehicles are a big part of cleaning up the emissions problem, cargo and people transport vehicles are a very big part of the solution. As has been mentioned here and in ADW Green, there's a lot going on in green transportation moving this forward -- commercial and government fleets, taxi services, executive and luxury transportation, heavy duty trucking, utility and service vehicles, airplanes, ships, mass transit buses, and motorcycles are all seeing testing and deployment of electric vehicles, hybrid technology, biofuels, natural gas, propane autogas, and fuel cell vehicles. Airports and harbor ports are good places to watch to see where a lot is being done in vehicle technology and fueling stations.

Within 10 to 15 years, the 17-mile 710 Freeway corridor will achieve zero emissions for freight transportation at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, said Bill Van Amburg, senior vice president of CALSTART. Amburg was one of the speakers this week on a panel put on by South Coast Air Quality Management District. Van Amburg sees this happening through dual-mode hybrids trucks, which would run on battery power in the ports and on a hybrid engine outside the port area.

The LA and Long Beach ports have had a fight on their hands moving toward their emissions targets. Long Beach settled a federal court lawsuit by the American Trucking Associations and the LA port is still tied up in litigation. It is moving forward, even if it ends up being less strict than the LA port authority had originally intended. And then there's the question of cargo ships and their fuel sources. Much more is to be done for cleaning the air in this, and other, rapidly growing ports.

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