Southern Counties Express Completes Kenworth T680 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Demonstration in Southern California

Southern Counties Express (SCE) is among the fleets that took the lead on a major demonstration program in Southern California to explore advanced technologies.

Southern Counties Express was the first fleet in the demonstration to operate a zero emissions Kenworth T680 fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) – powered by hydrogen – in real-world drayage activities at the Port of Los Angeles and surrounding area. That was the first of 10 T680 FCEVs delivered last year by Kenworth under the $82.5 million Shore-to-Store (S2S) project led by the Port of Los Angeles.

The project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment particularly in disadvantaged communities.

The demonstration project moved forward in 2021 with a $41.1 million grant from the California Air Resources Board’s Zero- and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) program. In addition to Kenworth and Southern Counties Express, major partners include Toyota Motor North America, Shell Oil Products U.S. (Shell), Toyota Logistics Services, Total Transportation Systems Inc. (TTSI), UPS, South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), and the Port of Hueneme.

Kenworth designed and built the Class 8 T680 FCEVs, which are equipped with Toyota’s fuel cell electric system. Southern Counties Express recently concluded its demonstration project activities with the T680 FCEV.

“Southern Counties Express is a leader in exploring advanced technology solutions that promote the movement toward zero emissions trucks in Southern California and beyond. This demonstration project offered a great opportunity to test the Kenworth T680 fuel cell electric vehicle in our daily operations and provide feedback to further enhance its development,” said Jay Mason, vice president of equipment & maintenance for Warren, Michigan-based Universal Logistics Holdings, the parent company of SCE.

Servicing the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and surrounding area for more than 25 years, Southern Counties Express offers full-service harbor drayage, transloading, warehousing, and project cargo services to major companies across a number of industries.

“The Kenworth T680 FCEV was regularly in operation from Monday to Friday, and occasionally during weekends. It was used only on the morning shift, which usually starts at 5 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.,” said Ivan Hernandez, dispatch supervisor for Rancho Dominguez, California-based SCE, a provider of transportation, drayage services, trucking logistics, and warehousing. 

According to Hernandez, the T680 FCEV had two main runs. “The first was to and from the BNSF Railway yard in Commerce, Calif., then to a customer warehouse in Rancho Dominguez. The second was to and from the same customer’s warehouse to the terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” Hernandez noted. “We put in about 3,600 miles on the truck during the demonstration project.”

Southern Counties Express drivers report that the T680 FCEV is a lot quieter than a diesel. It has great torque, comfortable Kenworth cab, good visibility and other driver-friendly features. SCE noted it is proud to be a part of a clean energy demonstration project that may one day provide a zero emissions solution for the marketplace. 

The T680 FCEVs are an important element of the industry-leading Kenworth Driving To Zero Emissions™ program. The major effort also features Kenworth T680E, K270E and K370E battery electric vehicles – available for order – and designed for local pickup and delivery, drayage and short regional haul applications. Built on proven platforms with superior visibility, reliability, maneuverability and driver comfort, the T680E Class 8, K270E and K370E medium duty models combine state-of-the-art zero emissions powertrains with comprehensive PACCAR charging solutions and infrastructure support to drive to zero emissions with confidence. 

PACCAR Parts electric vehicle (EV) charging stations maximize coverage over a full range of Kenworth electric vehicles, with output power from 20 kilowatts (kW) to 350 kW. Customers can rely on the expertise of PACCAR Parts and its infrastructure partners to tailor EV charger solutions to fit the needs of any size fleet. EV chargers can be purchased from Kenworth dealers.

To learn more about how Kenworth is Driving To Zero Emissions, visit the program’s website (www.kenworth.com/innovation/zero-emissions).

Kenworth customers with questions about any battery electric vehicle incentive programs in the U.S. and Canada may contact Alec Cervenka of Kenworth (Alec.cervenka@paccar.com /425-902-3275).

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