Electrified Truck Stops Cut Idling

Apr 15, 2009

Saves fuel, reduces emissions, recharges truckers

Truck stops have long been places of comfort and routine: get a hot meal, shave and shower and maybe browse the 80’s Greatest collection of discount cassette tapes before retiring to the rig’s sleeper.

Historically, the engines idle away into the night, powering heaters/air conditioners, radios, mini-fridges, cable TV, internet, and cabin lights surrounded by acres of others parked nearby doing the same thing — dreamily counting sooty grey sheep leaping through clouds of exhaust.

So when we came across CR England Girl,
her latest blog topic “Electrified Truck Stops” caught our attention. (It should be noted her blog tagline, “The World of Trucking Through a Female Perspective” is equally as interesting and possibly a future blog subject.)

Instead of idling,
Truck Electrified Parking (TEP) allows truckers to run a cable through their cab window, powering their various devices at a significantly cheaper than the cost of diesel fuel required to idle an engine all night. The cost is around a $1.00 per hour, compared to more than $2.22 for a gallon of diesel.

These savings are also passed along to the environment.
Washington state’s Department of Ecology (DOE) re-released a report called “Focus on Engine Idling at Truck Stops” last September, stating that “more than 500,000 heavy duty long-haul diesel trucks with sleeper cabs travel the United States. Over a period of one year, a single long-haul truck emits 20 tons of air pollution from idling alone.”

According to
http://www.climatetrust.org, 275 electrified parking spaces at 7 truck stops would offset 90,000 metric tons carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking 17,928 cars off the road for a year.The DOE says that over a five-year period, using these TEP parking spaces just 50 percent of the time will result in:

  • Engine idling reduced by more than five million hours.
  • Diesel fuel consumption reduced by more than five million gallons.
  • Savings to truck or fleet owners of more than 15 million dollars in fuel costs.
  • Greater comfort and safety for truck drivers (less engine noise means more well-rested drivers)

If you want to “plug-in,” The U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Highway Administration created the Truck Stop Electrification Site Locator, as we learned from CR England Girl. Just enter an address and it will list electrified truck stops near you.

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respres under the Creative Common license