Electric trucks focus of Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor program

By Chad Elmore04 August 2022

Peterbilt, MAFI, Nikola trucks part of pilot demonstration program

EV A MAFI T230 e electric terminal tractor that is part of the Port of Indiana’s vehicle demonstration program. (Photo: Port of Indiana)

The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor has launched a pilot program designed to give its port operators, businesses and trucking companies the opportunity to use electric heavy-duty trucks, yard jockeys and forklifts as part of real-world port operations. 

Shown at the port during the launch were Class 8 electric semis from Peterbilt, Nikola and German electric yard tractor manufacturer MAFI. New equipment, including a forklift and a variety of heavy-duty electric-powered trucks, will also be made available through the program for port tenants and trucking companies to demo.

EV A battery-electric Nikola truck is part of the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor new demonstration program. (Photo: Ports of Indiana)

This program is part of the Ports of Indiana’s broader initiatives to achieve a greener, energy-resilient and sustainable port. “Ports are all about transportation and logistical connections,” said Andrea Hermer, Ports of Indiana’s chief operating officer. “We are looking at electricity and other sources of energy in the same way – critical connections to port operations and the future.”

The Ports of Indiana is collaborating with Current Trucking, who along with Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO), has provided the vehicles, chargers and operational support during the pilot. NIPSCO is supplying power to support industrial-grade dc fast chargers at the port.

“We are showcasing the best available heavy-haul electrification technology from the industry’s leading manufacturers,” said Pip Decker, Current Trucking founder and project team member. “We hope to demonstrate to operators how e-mobility adoption reduces total operating costs.”

Focused on regional operators, Current Trucking offers 5 or 7-year leases on trucks in the Class 3 through 7 segment. The New Jersey-based firm said provides a full solution offering to encourage electrical adoption, inclusive of EV truck procurement, construction and charging.

“Connecting best available technology with port users is key to gaining their confidence in implementing electric-power into their trucking operations,” said Hermer. “Having port businesses participate in the program, including Bulk Equipment Corp., is essential for a successful program and ultimate adoption at the port.”

Located on Lake Michigan in the steel mill city of Portage, Ind., the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened in 1970. It is operated by Ports of Indiana, a statewide port authority that manages three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan.

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