Port of New York and New Jersey Drayage Electrification Analysis

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) evaluated the potential for drayage electrification in the Port of New York and New Jersey (PoNYNJ), with a focus on operators: Harbor Freight Transport (HF), Safeway Trucking (SWT), and International Motor Freight Inc (IMF). This report summarizes the data collection and electrification evaluation of all three drayage operators, includes detailed operational data, and identifies the performance requirements for battery electric tractors (BETs) and corresponding infrastructure operated within the context of PoNYNJ drayage operation. This report also details a methodology to evaluate opportunities, strategies, and challenges associated with future expansions of BETs in meeting PANYNJ emissions goals. The Port Authority has established a goal of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 across all facilities, including from tenant and stakeholder sources such as drayage trucks. NREL used real-world performance data collected on the three PoNYNJ drayage operations, along with modeling and analysis tools to compare BET to diesel trucks. From March to July 2021, NREL collected 1Hz vehicle and engine data from 46 drayage trucks at the three operators totaling nearly 121,000 miles of operation, providing enough information to assess vehicle operations for electrification potential. A Future Automotive Systems Technology Simulator (FASTSim) electric truck powertrain model was validated using PoNYNJ data and scenarios were run to evaluate drayage truck electrification requirements over the real-world cycles. The first scenario examined BET viability with minimal changes to existing operations. This assumes the trucks charge when stopped for two hours or longer, have a functional battery size of 375 kWh, and can charge at 270 kilowatts (kW) average which are the specification of the commercially available Freightliner eCascadia. The second scenario looked at what operational, charging infrastructure, and BET technology changes would be needed to fully electrify. Finally, detailed analysis was run on charging rate structure to understand operational costs to the fleets. The studied drayage trucks averaged 5.1 MPG, spent roughly 9% of their energy at idle, and drove an average of 140 miles per day with a maximum daily distance of 573 miles. The FASTSim model results indicate a comparable BET would use 417 kWh of energy per day on average accounting for cargo weight, which is close to the full usable capacity of the eCascadia currently available on the market. Based on the daily average operating data, partial fleet electrification is possible with current technology. However, some specific days of operation would require over 1,600 kWh of energy due to longer distances traveled by the trucks and more intense operation. Trucks used for long distance and intense operation cannot be readily electrified with current technology without operational changes. Full adoption of BETs could reduce CO2 emissions from these fleets by roughly 75% today, eliminating 76 metric tons of CO2 (MTCO2) per vehicle each year, which equates to 24,100 MTCO2 per year for all three operators. Commercially available direct current fast chargers (DCFC) have charge rates up to 350 kW. Based on the average daily modeled energy use for each operator, current industrial rate structures, and the assumption of 350 kW peak charging, full drayage electrification would increase electricity consumption. In addition, peak demand usage would increase with unmanaged charging along with cost of electricity having a direct impact on cost per mile for electric vehicles. The resulting cost per mile for BETs along with comparable cost per mile for conventional diesel trucks are also examined at $4.00 per gallon of diesel. It will be important for PANYNJ and the drayage operators within the PoNYNJ to consider these load impacts to their existing electrical infrastructure and devise operational strategies that avoid coincident charging of vehicles to mitigate demand charges. Despite these electricity cost increases, savings from reductions in diesel consumption will help offset the costs of this increased electricity consumption. However, prices of both electricity and diesel are subject to change based on various factors meaning the realized savings will vary over time. This shows BETs could be cost-competitive on an energy cost per mile basis for all scenarios while diesel is above $3.00/gal. Further, if diesel prices dropped to the 15-year low of $2.33/gal, it would still be cost competitive to operate the EVs with electricity costs of 16.3 ¢/kWh or less.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages47
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-83400


  • drayage
  • electrification
  • EV
  • port
  • tractor


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