Electric Semi Truck Makes Historic US-Mexico Border Crossing

In a historic milestone, a Peterbilt 579EV electric semi truck became the first to cross the US-Mexico border, showcasing the potential for sustainable cross-border freight transportation and the power of collaboration in driving clean transportation adoption.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Electric Semi Truck Makes Historic US-Mexico Border Crossing

Electric Semi Truck Makes Historic US-Mexico Border Crossing

In a historic milestone for cross-border trade and sustainable transportation, San Diego-based Bali Express's Peterbilt 579EV electric semi truck became the first to cross the US-Mexico border at Otay Mesa on April 21, 2024. Powered by San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) recently activated heavy-duty charging infrastructure, the electric truck carried a standard load of goods to Tijuana, marking a significant step towards a net zero future for both nations.

The Peterbilt 579EV is one of 11 Class 8 electric trucks purchased by Bali Express in September 2023. With an 82,000 lb. gross combined weight rating (GCWR), the trucks are powered by Meritor's 14Xe e-powertrain system, providing a range of approximately 150 miles on a single charge of about 3 hours. The maiden voyage of the electric semi truck to Mexico symbolizes San Diego's commitment to innovation, cross-border collaboration, and environmental responsibility.

Why this matters: This historic border crossing demonstrates the feasibility of electric freight transportation between the US and Mexico, setting the stage for reduced emissions and a more sustainable future for cross-border trade. It showcases the potential for collaboration and innovation to drive the adoption of clean transportation technologies on an international scale.

SDG&E's heavy-duty charging infrastructure, partially funded through a $200,000 grant from the California Energy Commission's Clean Transportation Program, enables reliable and affordable electric freight options for medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles crossing the border. The Clean Transportation Program has invested over $1 billion into alternative fuel and vehicle technology projects to date.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria expressed the city's pride in this accomplishment, stating, "This historic crossing of the electric truck is an example of how collaboration can create new and innovative ways to rethink our transportation systems and move towards electrification." SDG&E Executive Director Caroline Winn echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the company's commitment to supporting the region's clean transportation goals and collaborating with partners on both sides of the border.

The successful border crossing of Bali Express's Peterbilt 579EV electric semi truck showcases the potential for sustainable freight transportation between the US and Mexico. It marks a significant milestone in the transition to cleaner, more environmentally responsible cross-border trade and highlights the importance of collaboration and innovation in driving the adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure on an international scale.

Key Takeaways

  • First-ever electric semi-truck crossed US-Mexico border at Otay Mesa on April 21, 2024.
  • Peterbilt 579EV electric truck, powered by SDG&E's heavy-duty charging infrastructure, carried goods to Tijuana.
  • Milestone demonstrates feasibility of electric freight transportation between US and Mexico.
  • SDG&E's $200,000 grant from CA Energy Commission enabled reliable, affordable electric freight options.
  • Collaboration and innovation drive adoption of clean transportation technologies across borders.