Port of L.A. in talks to purchase zero-emission trucks

The Port of Los Angeles, the nation's busiest container port, is negotiating with an alternative-fuel vehicle manufacturer to purchase and evaluate the company's heavy-duty, zero-emission trucks, which use a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid electric power system.

The company is Vision Industries Corp. of Florida, doing business as Vision Motor Corp. in California. Vision's research and development facility is in El Segundo and its manufacturing plant is in Whittier, said its president and chief executive, Martin Schuermann.

Port officials say the trucks will be tested for possible use on short- or medium-distance cargo hauls.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the effort was part of the port and the city's commitment to develop zero-emission trucks. He called it "another important strategy in our plan to grow Los Angeles green by being a catalyst in testing and bringing to market the most promising emission-reduction technologies."

Company documents say the trucks produce 450 horsepower and have a range of up to 400 miles. The company also produces a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car called the Cheetah, which it says has a top speed of 150 mph.

ron.white@latimes.com

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