New Dole electric freight vehicles at Port of San Diego + Goodguys rods & customs cruise

Dole Celebrates the Addition of more Electric ‘clean air’ Freight Vehicles at their Port of San Diego Operations

Recently members of the press and special guests were welcomed by Dole Fresh Fruit North America to their secure operations center at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, to get a first-hand demonstration of their new Orange EV battery-electric utility tractor rigs (UTRs) that were replacing their four diesel-fueled predecessors used in the loading and unloading of bananas and pineapples.

Members of the press gathering for the press conference. That’s me between Penelope Pineapple and Bobby Banana.

Recognizing that “climate change is real and that the food and agriculture industries have a role to play in mitigating its effects,” “Dole purchased the equipment using vouchers provided via the Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE) administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CORE is intended to accelerate deployment of advanced technology in the off-road sector by providing a streamlined way for fleets to access funding that helps offset the incremental costs of such technology. Funding for the program is allocated via the California State Legislature.” These vehicles represent the future of environmentally-friendly container freight handling, with the stated goals of significantly improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

First, with the massive ‘Dole Pacific’ container ship in San Diego Bay, two of Dole’s five new electric freight vehicles, and Dole’s larger-than-life, iconic Bobby Banana and Penelope Pineapple mascots as backdrops, we were welcomed with addresses by Nelson Montoya, President, Dole Fresh Fruit North America; Chairman Dan Malcolm, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners; Vice Chair Nora Vargas, San Diego County Board of Supervisors and California Air Resources Board (CARB) member; Mayor Todd Gloria of the City of San Diego; Xavier Roussel, Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer, Dole Food Company; Ray Leyba, President, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 29; Miguel Romero, Vice President – Energy Innovation, San Diego Gas & Electric; and Sarah Marsh, Terminal Manager, Dole Fresh Fruit.

Speakers at the press conference

Then our attention was directed to the demonstration, as containers were transferred between the ship and the trailers towed back and forth by the new EVs. Considering all of the activity, the process was surprisingly quiet.

I was curious how the cranes were so quickly attaching cables to the very heavy containers, to carry them between the ship and the trailers. As it was explained to me, paddles on a “spreader bar” (which matches the containers’ periphery) have cameras on them, to help the crane operator guide the spreader bar into place. Then a pin on each corner is locked into a little hole in each corner casting on the container. After that is accomplished, the heavy container can be lifted.

Orange EV provides fleets, such as Dole’s, with turnkey pure-electric terminal trucks for clean, zero emissions, environmentally-friendly, quiet container handling operations. In Dole’s case, these trucks replaced four vehicles powered by diesel engines.

Orange EV battery-electric utility tractor rig

“As of April 2022, the deployed Orange EV fleet has surpassed 5 million miles and 1.4 million hours of operation.” Their “pure electric, zero emissions yard trucks are meeting the most rigorous duty cycles and 24×7 shift schedules in container handling operations across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.”

Orange EV battery-electric utility tractor rig

To learn more about “Made in the U.S.A.” Orange EV terminal trucks, visit https://orangeev.com.

Sadly, in case you are wondering, we were not given miniature versions of Bobby Banana and Penelope Pineapple in our gift bags — which did, however, include other Dole swag, plus a bunch of bananas and a delicious pineapple.

Gift bags with bananas and pineapples

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals ‘rods & customs’ cruise

It is quite fitting to wrap-up my “AutoMatters & More” coverage of the 2022 Goodguys Del Mar Nationals with a leisurely ‘rods & customs’ cruise along the iconic, palm trees-lined, main street of the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Goodguys Rod & Custom Association events celebrate the people and their vehicles. These cars and trucks are meant to be driven, and at the Goodguys Del Mar Nationals they were indeed driven: in the autocross, as reported in part one of this report, in this cruise and, in many cases, to and from this wonderful annual event.

To learn more about the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association and its events, visit: https://www.good-guys.com.

To explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, with the most photos and the latest text, visit “AutoMatters & More” at https://automatters.net. Search by title or topic in the Search Bar in the middle of the Home Page, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes and browse.

Copyright © 2022 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #738r2

Jan Wagner


  1. David Sperry on May 1, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    Jan, I enjoyed both subjects of this column. Back in 1959 I was a newly graduated Mechanical Engineer working for the R&D Department if the Canadian National Railways (CNR, later CN) in Montreal. One of my first projects as part of a small team was to determine what it would take to lift a large container from a railway flat car onto a flat bed truck.

    This was a tiny rudimentary first step in global containerization. I can’t believe how far it’s come in my lifetime, and I’m still ticking.

    Loved the cars in the Del Mar Parade. You got some great shots of classic hot rods.

    • Jan Wagner on May 1, 2022 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks David,

      The transfer process between containers on the ship and on the flatbeds is really quick.

      When I was in school in Calgary one summer I had a job counting railway cars.


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