A new Internet-based mapping program is helping truckers find truck stops with idle reduction facilities—on-site systems that can substantially cut fuel use while reducing air emissions.
Idle reduction systems hold great promise for the approximately 500,000 long-haul trucks with sleeper cabs currently operating in the United States. Estimates show idle reduction technologies could reduce diesel fuel use by about 800 million gallons annually, with a potential savings to the trucking industry of $2 billion each year. In addition, idle reduction strategies can reduce NOX emissions by approximately 150,000 tonnes per year and particulate matter emissions by up to 3,000 tonnes per year.
By reducing the amount of time that trucks idle, typically 6 hours per night, drivers can significantly reduce engine wear and associated maintenance costs. Routine maintenance can be performed less often and trucks can travel farther before needing an engine overhaul.
The Truck Stop Electrification Station Locator (TSE) was developed through an interagency agreement by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT's) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The project resulted from a collaboration between FHWA and the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities activity.
The mapping tool is available on the Clean Cities Web site free of charge.
"We developed this tool to help guide truck drivers to truck stop locations with idle reduction capabilities because reducing heavy-duty truck idling is an important step in reducing overall fuel consumption and improving our nation's energy security," said Stan Bull, NREL Associate Director of Science and Technology.
Truck stop electrification allows truckers to "plug in" their long-haul tractor-trailers so they can operate the heater, air-conditioner and run electrical appliances such as refrigerators or televisions when they are resting during their federally required rest periods. Options for truck stop electrification include stand-alone systems that are located at truck stops, and combined systems that require both on-board and off-board equipment.
There are two main types of idle reduction facilities included in the TSE station locator, IdleAire and Shurepower technologies. Both allow drivers to shut off their engines while allowing cab appliances to remain powered and working to meet the needs of the truck driver. More information about TSE and other idle reduction equipment is available on the Clean Cities Website.
There are currently fewer than 50 TSE stations in eleven states—Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas—with plans for many more new facilities to open in the near future.
DOE's Clean Cities activity, which is a part of DOE's FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program, encourages the implementation of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies that can help reduce our nation's dependence on imported petroleum. The program works through nearly 90 public/private coalitions to promote alternative fuels and vehicles, fuel blends, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, and idle reduction.
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