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Los Angeles is best known as the center of Hollywood film and TV production. But it’s also home to the largest container port in North America, the adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Every year, this facility handles more than nine million individual cargo containers, and processes more than $276 billion worth of goods flowing in and out of the ports. You might not know it, but this is a real hotspot for advanced technology vehicles.
It’s the single biggest entry port for goods from Asia – cars, clothes, electronics, everything that Americans buy – probably passes through these ports. With all of that activity, it takes a huge number of vehicles to keep cargo flowing armies of big trucks, loaders, forklifts, and the side armies of big trucks, loaders, forklifts powered by gasoline and diesel fuel.
A big problem with all of those vehicles though, is emissions, particulate matter from diesel exhaust, and nearly 900,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year. Over the past few decades, there’s been a big push to clean up the air, especially what’s coming out of the back end of all of these trucks and heavy duty vehicles.
The state of California has said that over the next two decades, it wants to eliminate sales of all new gasoline and diesel powered vehicles in the state and not just passing cars but heavy duty trucks, buses, basically everything that moves on on wheels. And right now we’re already seeing the early stages of that here at the ports with new types of battery and hydrogen fueled vehicles that emit absolutely nothing out the tailpipe to help clean up those emissions.
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