Heavy-Duty Electric Class 8 Truck Makes Historic First Crossing From the U.S. Into Mexico
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Heavy-Duty Electric Class 8 Truck Makes Historic First Crossing From the U.S. Into Mexico

  • An electric class 8 truck made a historic first crossing from the U.S. into Mexico in April 2024.
  • The electric semi-truck making the crossing is from San Diego’s Bali Express electric freight truck fleet.
  • San Diego Gas & Electric built the charging infrastructure for medium- to heavy-duty electric freight trucks in the border region with partial funding from the CEC.

A historic first crossing from the U.S. into Mexico was made by an electric class 8 truck, a heavy-duty Bali Express freight truck. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Bali Express announced the milestone on April 11, 2024, in a press release. The U.S. and Mexico border region is moving toward a promising and sustainable net-zero future, fighting global climate change by marking this significant milestone.


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SDG&E recently built the charging infrastructure for medium- to heavy-duty electric freight trucks crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as a part of SDG&E’s “Power Your Drive for Fleets” program. The program helps fleet owners and operators with transitioning to electric vehicles, reducing operating costs, eliminating emissions, and simplifying vehicle maintenance. The program connects fleets with a variety of helpful resources. These resources include fleet-friendly charging rates, as well as financial incentives to easily and cost-effectively design and install charging infrastructure for medium- to heavy-duty electric freight trucks.


The Bali Express Fleet Includes Electric Class 8 Trucks

EV Truck, Class 8.

The SDG&E-installed heavy-duty charging infrastructure will be utilized by Bali’s trucks. Bali Express was founded in 2007 in San Diego to serve the U.S. & Mexico border region. Bali Express has today grown to now cover freight in all of California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Juan Baez, owner of Bali Express, spoke about the importance of working together with SDG&E in achieving important sustainability goals for the region.

“We are thrilled to be working with SDG&E in this historic endeavor,” said Baez. “By adding electric freight trucks, we are not only reducing our carbon footprint but also leading the way towards a more sustainable future for freight transportation on both sides of the border. We’re proud to be a leader in this transition and are excited about the first ever crossing.”


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CEC Partially Funded the Heavy-Duty Class 8 Truck Chargers

SDG&E Escondido Battery Energy Storage Facility

The California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Clean Transportation Program partially funded the chargers with a $200,000 grant. CEC’s Clean Transportation Program has provided over $1 billion to alternative fuel and vehicle technology projects, boosting clean transportation in the region. These projects have delivered significant health, environmental, and economic benefits to local communities.

“To accommodate the transition to zero-emission trucks on both sides of the border, it’s critically important we have the necessary infrastructure,” said California Energy Commissioner Patty Monahan. “The California Energy Commission is helping fund projects across the state to build a better and more equitable charging infrastructure system for both cars and trucks.”

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas spoke about the historic milestone in sustainability for the region. Vargas was appointed by Governor Newsom to the California Air Resources Board.

Gloria said, “The historic crossing of this electric freight truck symbolizes San Diego’s commitment to innovation, cross-border cooperation, and our binational community. We’re not just reducing emissions; we’re building a cleaner future for the people who live near our border and leading the way on international trade and environmental responsibility.”

Vargas said, “As a fronteriza, I am thrilled that we’re moving forward with the use of bold and innovative energy technology that helps reduce air pollution, offers sustainable cross-border freight transportation, and strengthens our binational and interdependent economy. I know the binational region firsthand, and this is a great example of the kind of public-private partnerships that can improve air quality and promote economic prosperity for the binational region. As the Supervisor for border communities, I am proud and excited that we are moving toward a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future.”


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San Diego Gas & Electric’s EV Programs Include EV Fleet Day on April 19, 2024

SDG&E offers a variety of programs and events that support sustainability and environmental stewardship.

San Diego Gas & Electric EV Fleet Day is held every year. The event showcases a comprehensive array of solution providers, fleet electrification specialists, vehicle manufacturers, and much more.


SDG&E EV Fleet Day

Date: April 19, 2024
Time: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Location: SDG&E Century Park Campus
Address: 8330 Century Park Court, San Diego, CA 92123
Registration required. Register Here.

SDG&E has promoted electric vehicles through a variety of programs for many years. The company’s LOVEELECTRIC program offers a variety of incentives and helpful information for EV drivers.

Bali Express, SDG&E, CEC, the city of San Diego, and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors are to be commended for supporting clean transportation projects in the San Diego and Mexico border region. These projects are instrumental in fighting global climate change, as well as providing cleaner air for the local communities by reducing pollution from diesel heavy-duty freight trucks, as they are replaced by clean and green electric class 8 trucks.


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IMAGES: SAN DEIGO GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY

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AUTHOR: 

BILL PIERCE

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