On Oct. 4, at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) 31st Annual Clean Air Awards, BNSF, along with project partners San Bernardino County Council of Governments (SBCOG) and BYD, was honored with the Model Community Achievement Award which recognizes “an exceptional single program or comprehensive strategy that improves air quality and sustainability in a community.”

The award recognizes collaborative/integrated efforts or programs involving the public, business, nonprofits and government. Examples of eligible programs include strategies resulting in reduction of traffic congestion and improved air quality and health.

The ongoing demonstration project at BNSF’s facilities is paid for in large part by a $9.1 million grant awarded to SBCOG from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The grant comes through California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Under the first phase of the project led by SBCOG and funded by CARB, six BYD trucks have been in service at BNSF intermodal rail facilities in San Bernardino and the Commerce as well as three units at Daylight Transport, LLC in the City of Fontana. Use of those vehicles and feedback from operations personnel has informed the development of future generations of state-of-the-art battery electric trucks.