The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $1.3 million grant to the S.C. Ports Authority to help support efforts to use electricy and energy-efficient trucks to replace diesel-powered vehicles.
The EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act will support partners A&R Logistics and Benore Logistic Systems Inc. In moving cargo to “more sustainably to significantly reduce emissions over time,” the SCPA said in a news release.
Specifically, A&R Logistics and Benore Logistic Systems plan to use the money to help replace eight diesel freight trucks with battery powered Peterbilt tractor trucks, the authority said.
“S.C. Ports is consistently looking for ways to make our operations more sustainable and efficient,” Ports COO Barbara Melvin said in a statement. “The support from the EPA through the $1.3 million DERA grant, and the bold initiative taken by A&R Logistics’ and Benore to deploy the electric trucks, serve as a great model for companies looking to create a more sustainable supply chain.”
One A&R Logistics electric truck will move cargo between the company’s new 615,000-square-foot export facility recently completed by Frampton Construction Company LLC in Moncks Corner and the Port of Charleston. The S.C. Ports Authority said the other vehicles will be used in Savannah.
S.C. Ports Permitting Manager Mark Messersmith said using all-electric trucks will help reduce emissions impacting surrounding communities. He also said this could spark similar efforts for other logistics companies involved in port and cargo-hauling operations.
“S.C. Ports anticipates that the efforts of A&R and Benore will showcase the benefits of these electric vehicle trucks and provide a catalyst for other trucking companies,” Messersmith said in a statement.
S.C. Ports said the project also was supported by the S.C. Energy Office, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, Charleston Community Research to Action Board, Dominion Energy, Mount Pleasant, the city of Charleston, and Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments.
“Freight operations continue to play an integral and expanding role in our region and along its transportation network,” said Ron Mitchum, executive director of BCDCOG. “The ability to drive economic growth while minimally impacting our environment is a win for South Carolina Ports, the agency’s project partners and the community — one that should be applauded.”