RFX Blog

More Truck Stops Aim at Reducing Truck Idling

July 16th, 2012

Truck Stop Idling

Engine idling has long been a bane for the trucking industry because it seriously undercuts fuel economy. Thankfully, electrification sites are spreading throughout the central and southern regions of the U.S., allowing truckers to cut their gas-guzzling engines during rest stops.

Truck Stop Electrification

4 new sites have recently been added to the national network of electrification stops, including the Southern Pride Truck Plaza in Paducah, KY, and the Big Easy Travel Plaza in New Orleans. Each site features 24 parking spaces with electrical connections, which allow resting truckers to operate their heaters, air conditioners and digital equipment without idling their engines. Plug-ins operate at $1 per hour for all basic functions, with some stops offering additional features like cable TV and wireless internet access. Each pedestal offers voltage powers of 120, 208 and 240, with 480 capacities planned at half these sites for refrigeration units.

The STEP Program

The growing network of electrification stops are part of a national effort on behalf of the U.S Department of Energy and the trucking industry to cut down on idling emissions. All of these stops are made possible through the Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP), a federally funded program designed to reduce idling through plug-in solutions for drivers across the country. STEP currently operates 20 electrification stops nationwide, and they plan to add 30 more to their network by January 2013. Helmed in partnership between Shorepower Technologies and Cascade Sierra Solutions, STEP is helping truck drivers save 2,000 gallons annually in fuel while drastically reducing vehicle repair costs.

Idling Emissions

Idling puts wear and tear on engines while pumping untold levels of exhaust into the atmosphere. Engines actually release more emissions during idling than while driving, including harmful compounds like nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Idling also diminishes fuel economy by wastefully consuming gasoline, which seriously cuts into the profit margins of trucking companies and independent contractor. By offering alternatives to idling, STEP is making it possible for trucking companies to work within current environmental standards.

Electrification Solutions

The STEP Program says Shorepower plug-ins help long-haul trucks save up to $4000 annually.  As an alternative to Shorepower Plug-Ins, Idle Air is another solution that offers truck stop electrification.  With their tagline “Sleep Better, Save Money,” Idle Air aims to reduce carbon emissions while providing a quieter sleeper-berth atmosphere and significant fuel savings to truck drivers.

According to STEP, the U.S Department of Energy is investing over $20 million to promote the use of electrified truck parking as an alternative to idling.  This initiative is expected to more than double the amount of parking spaces that are equipped with electrification solutions.  With a growing number of stops in the electrification network, the trucking industry is looking forward to significant fuel savings and an environmentally sound future.

Posted on July 16th, 2012 in Trucking Industry