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Vehicle Technologies Office: National Idling Reduction Network News

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 vehicle idling for the entire United States. Below is the most recent issue; the archives are available on the Archives page.


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August 2016 National Idling Reduction Network News: From the Editor

How Would You Like To Glimpse the Future of Idling Reduction Technology?

For many years the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has held its annual Hydrogen and Fuels Cells Program and Vehicle Technologies Office Annual Merit Review (AMR) and Peer Evaluation meeting. At this event this past June, outside experts reviewed and rated almost 500 projects, a significant portion of DOE’s research and development (R&D) and deployment portfolios in the areas of hydrogen, fuel cell, and vehicle technologies.

The reviewers found that projects varied in quality as some ranked high while others needed to take a different path to achieve R&D and deployment goals before hopefully enjoying commercial success. Of course, there is no guarantee that even highly rated projects will be successful in the marketplace, as that is the nature of R&D. Sometimes you just need to kiss a lot of frogs before the prince shows up.

The "future" part of the AMR review is that some of these projects are embryonic while others are mature enough to be close to the market. The table below shows a selection of projects that have an idling reduction component. Please check out these presentations to see the future and feel free to contact the principal investigator or presenter for more information about each project.


Selected AMR Presentations Having Relevance to Idling Reduction
Project ID Company Presentation Title
MT011 Plug Power Ground Support Equipment Demonstration
MT013 Sandia National Laboratories Maritime Fuel Cell Generator Project
MT014 PNNL/Nuvera Fuel Cells/ThermoKing Demonstration of Fuel Cell Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to Power Truck Refrigeration Units (TRUs) in Refrigerated Trucks
MT017 FedEx Medium Duty Parcel Delivery Truck
MT020 US Hybrid Corp. Fuel Cell-Battery Electric Hybrid for Utility or Municipal MD or HD Bucket Trucks. Fuel Cell powered Auxiliary Power Module "APM"
VS001 National Renewable Energy Laboratory Medium- and Heavy-Duty Field Evaluations
VS081 Volvo SuperTruck
VS115 South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Zero Emission Drayage Truck Demonstration (ZECT I)
VS116 Houston-Galveston Area Council Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Electric Hybrid Truck & Zero Emission Delivery Vehicle Deployment
VS133 Oak Ridge National Laboratory Cummins MD & HD Accessory Hybridization CRADA
VS158 SCAQMD Zero Emission Cargo Transport II: San Pedro Bay Ports Hybrid & Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Project


The outcome of the AMR will be two reports—one for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program (the “MT” projects in the table above) and one for the Vehicle Technologies Office (the “VS” projects in the table)—that contain the reviewers’ comments and scores for the DOE program managers to consider in determining whether, and how, to alter the scope of their projects. We expect that these draft reports, which are currently under review by DOE staff, will be available this fall and will include them in the “Reports and Other Resources of Interest” section of this newsletter at that time.

More information is available in the annual progress reports the companies submit to these two DOE offices. You can find the reports at the website of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office and the website of the Vehicle Technologies Office.


Terry M. Levinson, Editor
Allegheny Science & Technology


Patricia Weikersheimer, Writer
Argonne National Laboratory


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


Rolling Deadline Until Funds Are Awarded



DOE: $137 Million for Vehicle Efficiency Projects

Building on the success of the SuperTruck I program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected four manufacturers for the SuperTruck II program. SuperTruck II supports the research, development, and demonstration of technologies that will improve heavy-truck freight efficiency by more than 100% compared to a manufacturer’s best-in-class 2009 truck.

The manufacturers selected for SuperTruck II are Cummins, Inc. (for the design and development of a new, more-efficient engine and advanced drivetrain and vehicle technologies); Daimler Trucks North America LLC (for the development and demonstration a tractor-trailer combination using a range of technologies including hybridization, accessory electrification, cylinder deactivation, and active aerodynamics); Navistar, Inc. (for the design and development of a vehicle and powertrain with electrified engine components that enable higher engine efficiency and with a more aerodynamic cab); and Volvo Technology of America LLC (for the development and demonstration of a tractor-trailer combination with a lightweight cab, alternative engine designs, and other system technologies). Each manufacturer will receive $20 million to be matched by the recipient company.

Through another DOE initiative, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office selected 35 projects to receive $57 million to develop and deploy an array of technologies, including advanced batteries and electric-drive systems, to reduce fuel use and emissions in passenger cars and light trucks.

More information about these projects is available at the DOE website.


Regulatory News

Final Phase 2 GHG Rule Supports Idling Reduction

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have issued the final Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles. The standards cover four categories of vehicles—combination tractors; trailers used in combination with those tractors; heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans; and vocational vehicles—for model years (MY) 2018–2027.

The use of idling reduction technologies is one pathway by which truck manufacturers can achieve compliance with Phase 2 standards. Automatic engine shutdown systems (AESS) are a base requirement for any manufacturer seeking compliance through idling reduction; additional idling reduction equipment may be installed for more credit. Credits range from 1% for adjustable AESS programmed to 5 minutes to 6% for tamperproof AESS combined with a battery-powered APU. Diesel APUs with tamperproof AESS will receive a 4% credit, which is the same as that for tamperproof AESS alone.

Among the agencies’ findings was that an increased use of diesel-powered APUs to reduce CO2 emissions could lead to an overall increase in particulate matter (PM) emissions. For this reason, the standards require emissions controls for APUs to be installed as part of the manufacturers’ compliance paths. For MY 2018–2023 trucks, diesel APUs are expected to achieve the required emissions reduction through the use of in-cylinder PM controls. Beginning with MY 2024 trucks, manufacturers seeking compliance credits through the installation of such APUs are expected to use APUs equipped with diesel particulate filters (DPFs), as is currently required in California.

The new standards’ expected benefits include the reduction of CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons and a decrease in oil consumption by up to 2 billion barrels. For an EPA fact sheet on the standards, please go to the EPA website. EPA’s website also includes a link to the 1,690-page final rule.


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.)


Vocational Trucks

A Boost for Southern California Edison Bucket Trucks

Electricity provider Southern California Edison is now operating two battery-powered lift trucks, with plans to add 22 more. The trucks allow utility workers to run the bucket—along with accessories such as air conditioning, lights, and two-way radios—in engine-off mode. The vehicles are also equipped with stop-start technology, which turns off the engine 5 seconds after the truck is put into park. Along with fuel efficiency and emissions-reduction benefits, the elimination of engine noise allows improved worker communication, contributing to a safer working environment.

For more information, please see the Inside Edison website.


Orange EV: First Electric Class 8 Truck Approved for HVIP

Orange EV, a manufacturer of all-electric trucks, has announced that its T-Series terminal trucks are the first electric Class 8 trucks eligible for California's Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). Fleets can save $95,000 or more on the purchase of a new T-Series electric terminal truck with an extended-duty battery pack. Participating fleets must commit to operating the trucks in California for at least 3 years.

Orange EV's electric terminal trucks operate in a range of environments, including railroad intermodal, "less than truckload" (LTL) freight, manufacturing, retail distribution, waste management, and warehouse container handling. More information is available at Orange EV's website.


Additional Idling Reduction Resources

Please visit the Vehicle Technologies Office's Idle Reduction webpage for links to more idle reduction resources, including an idling reduction savings calculator (xls calculator and printable pdf calculator), Locations of Electrified Parking Spaces, Status of the Weight Exemption for Idling Reduction Devices, and back issues of National Idling Reduction Network News. Other resources include IdleBox, an electronic, modular toolkit to facilitate idling reduction outreach and implementation, IdleBase, a database of idling regulations for all classes of on-road vehicles, and the Alternative Fuels Data Center idle reduction page.