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May 2014 National Idling Reduction Network News

July 17, 2014 - 3:47pm


The National Idling Reduction Network brings together trucking and transit companies; railroads; ports; equipment manufacturers; Federal, state, and local government agencies (including regulators); nonprofit organizations; and national research laboratories to identify consistent, workable solutions to heavy-vehicle idling for the entire United States. Below is the May 2014 issue of the National Idling Reduction Network News; the archives are available on the Archives page and the latest issue is on the main NIRNN page.


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To receive NIRNN by e-mail monthly, please e-mail Patricia Weikersheimer. If you have news you believe would be of interest to newsletter readers, please send it to


May 2014 Newsletter: From the Editor

We hope you enjoy this modern version of the National Idling Reduction Network News, which you can now easily read on your smart phone and tablet. Please let us know what you think of this new format.

For current subscribers, you’ll find that the “boilerplate” – information that rarely changes from month to month – is now at the Vehicle Technologies Office’s new Idle Reduction page. New information each month will now be at the National Idling Reduction Network News’ updated location and the newsletter archives will be posted on their own page.

For new subscribers, welcome to the only electronic newsletter that covers idling reduction for all classes of vehicles. Occasionally, we even cover idling reduction for locomotives, ships, and ground equipment at airports as well. The news covers solicitations for funding, regulatory changes, awards and recognition, reports and other resources of interest, upcoming meetings and events, manufacturers’ announcements, and whatever else newsy doesn’t fit into those categories. Our website also features links to a number of resources, including a map of weight exemptions for auxiliary power units, idling reduction calculators, databases of local and state idling reduction regulations, maps of electrified parking spaces, and much more.

We always want to hear from our readers about their successful idling reduction programs, new laws or regulations, solicitations, and meetings. Please send that information to me or writer Patricia Weikersheimer for possible inclusion in an issue.

Lastly, please remember to keep unnecessary idling to a minimum.

Terry Levinson, Editor
Energetics, Incorporated
(202) 595-4641


Solicitations for Funding and Awards

Program [with link to website] — Organization — Funding Amount — Due Date (Information new since last month in boldface.)

Deadline in Chronological Order

First Come, First Served 

  • Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program — Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) — ~$15 million

  • Clean Air Fleets (GPS and retrofit technologies to support idle reduction in the Denver Metro area and Colorado Front Range) — Colorado Regional Air Quality Council — ~$1 million

  • New York State Electric Vehicle Voucher Incentive Fund (NYSEV-VIF) — New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) — $9 million

Rolling Deadline Until Funds are Awarded

Deadline Not Applicable 


Regulatory News


APU Weight Exemptions Progressing in Florida and Massachusetts

In Florida, House Bill (HB) 7175, a comprehensive transportation bill with a provision to increase the weight exemption for heavy-duty, long-haul trucks equipped with APUs from 400 to 550 lb, has unanimously passed both legislative houses. Enrolled, it is awaiting delivery to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. To see the text of the enrolled bill, please visit the Florida Senate’s website (PDF).

In Massachusetts, Representative Theodore Speliotis introduced HB 3150, a bill to allow a weight exemption for APUs (HB 3150), in early 2013. More than a year later, the Joint Committee on Transportation heard the bill and referred it to the House Committee on Steering, Policy, and Scheduling. If the bill is passed, trucks would be allowed an APU weight exemption of 400 lb. According to the Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association, the Massachusetts House of Representatives included an amendment allowing this weight allowance in its proposed budget for fiscal year 2015. For the bill’s text and current status, please go to the website of the Massachusetts legislature.


Awards and Recognition

Awardee — Source of Award — Purpose of Award — Award Amount

  • Odyne Systems, LLC — Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) — The retrofit of medium- and heavy-duty work trucks with Odyne plug-in hybrid systems — $776,000

  • Town of Carborro, North Carolina — Clean Fuel Advanced Technology, North Carolina Solar Center — Purchase of a refuse truck with hybrid-drive technology — $97,297


Reports and Other Resources of Interest


Upcoming Meetings and Events

Name of meeting [With Link to Website] - Date (Location)

(Information new since last month in boldface.)


Manufacturers' News


Espar’s E-Guardian 5 Now Available on Trans Tech Bus’s Complete Product Line

Trans Tech Bus (Warwick, New York) has announced that Espar’s E-Guardian 5 engine preheater will be available on its complete product line. According to School Transportation News, Trans Tech Bus is the first Type-A school bus manufacturer to offer this preheater as a factory installed option.

The E-Guardian 5 engine preheater, which enables no-idling warm-engine starts, is EPA verified and CARB approved. For more information, please read the article on the School Transportation News website or the information on Espar's website.  

Thermo King Introduces Deep-Frozen Reefer with Shore-Power Capability

Thermo King has launched the Precedent S-700, a refrigeration unit designed for deep-freeze cargo, such as sensitive pharmaceuticals and fresh seafood. According to Thermo King, it is the only deep-frozen refrigeration unit with plug-in capability. 

The Precedent S-700 is compliant with the EPA’s Tier IV final regulations without the addition of diesel particulate filters (DPF) or engine emissions systems (EES). It is also compliant with CARB’s Ultra-Low-Emission Transport Refrigeration Unit In-Use Performance Standards. More information is available on ThermoKing’s website, and more technical detail about the unit can be found in ThermoKing’s product brochure (PDF). 

Carrier Launches All-Electric Vector 8100

Carrier Transicold has introduced the all-electric Vector 8100, a trailer refrigeration unit designed for supermarkets, produce warehouses, food distribution centers, and other businesses that use refrigerated trailers for on-site cold storage. According to the manufacturer, the Vector 8100 consumes less electricity than its predecessor while delivering up to 4% higher capacity. Visit Carrier's website for more information.


Other News of Interest

Santa Barbara Says No to Idling Patrol Cars

In 2013, the Santa Barbara County (California) Grand Jury received a complaint about police-vehicle idling. After investigating, the county determined that its idling patrol cars consume more than $580 in fuel per day. According to a recently released report by the Grand Jury, fuel used by idling police vehicles has cost the county more than $1.25 million since 2008.

The Sheriff’s Office has argued that because its vehicles need to run critical electronics when stationary, it cannot comply with the county anti-idling policy. The County responded that systems to maintain operational capability are readily available and recommended their timely installation: “Every day of delay in enacting a remedy to the idling problem results in a further unnecessary cost to the county’s taxpayers.”

In March, the Sheriff’s department installed anti-idling technology—a battery-monitoring system with an auto-start feature—in one of its patrol cars to evaluate the system. According to the Grand Jury report, the cost of modifying the entire patrol fleet would be about $36,000. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff has 60 days to respond to the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury’s report (PDF). For more information, please see the article in Government Fleet

GAO: GSA Should Charge for Fuel Used, Not Miles Traveled

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report, Federal Vehicle Fleets: GSA [General Services Administration] Has Opportunities to Further Encourage Cost Savings for Leased Vehicles. In it, the GAO recommended a number of cost-saving strategies, including charging agencies for fuel used rather than miles traveled. With this rate-structure change, federal fleets would have an incentive to reduce fuel-wasting driver behaviors, such as idling and speeding, in leased vehicles. 

The report also recommended the use of telematics to help federal fleet managers identify and reduce driver behaviors, including idling, that cause excessive fuel use. It acknowledged, however, that telematics’ high cost has been a barrier to its adoption. With its purchasing power, the GSA is seeking to lower the cost of telematics technology for federal agencies and have new contracts for telematics technology in place by the end of this fiscal year. For more information, please see the article in Government Fleet magazine.


Additional Idle Reduction Resources

Visit the Vehicle Technologies Office's Idle Reduction webpage to view additional idle reduction resources, including Currently Available Idling Reduction Equipment, Status of the Weight Exemption for Idling Reduction Devices, Summary of State and Municipal Idling Regulations, Incentives and Funding Opportunities for Idling Reduction Projects, Tools Available to Calculate the Cost of Idling Equipment, Locations of Electrified Parking Spaces, Idling Reduction Outreach Assistance, and back issues of the Idling Reduction Network News.