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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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March 2016 National Idling Reduction Network News: From the Editor

Hitting the Road To Learn More about Work Trucks

A recent trip to Indianapolis to attend the NTEA Green Truck Summit, held concurrently with the Work Truck Show, showcased an exciting and wide variety of the latest technologies for one of the newer idling reduction markets: work trucks. Some of the highlights are discussed later in this newsletter.

Unlike cars (which move people) and long-haul trucks (which move goods long distances), work trucks are "tools on wheels" that we see around us every day and rarely notice. Utility trucks are one type of work truck that often doesn't move much and idles a lot when workers are on lifts or in an underground tunnel.

The conference and the show floor had sessions and equipment that respectively could reduce idling. One particularly interesting presentation dealt with managing idling reduction through technology. Paul Chamberlain, Fleet Services Manager of Clark Public Utilities in Washington State, revealed how an unsuccessful pilot test of idling reduction equipment led him to request a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology. He used that funding to install Zone Technologies idling management control modules that he could tune to the needs of various vehicle types in his fleet. He also found that idling management can extend the life of the fleet's trucks from 12 years to 14.

Dometic and eNow displayed equipment on the show floor showcasing their new partnership that mates eNow's solar photovoltaic panels with Dometic's Blizzard Turbo APU. Altec Industries announced its updated Jobsite Energy Management System (JEMS 4) for utility work trucks. In eliminating unnecessary idling, not only does JEMS 4 save fuel, but it also reduces engine maintenance and extends engine life. Altec's partnership with ZeroRPM allows for the integration of lithium-ion energy, engine-off cab heating and cooling, and an electrified power takeoff (ePTO) unit for hydraulic power. (Please see the Manufacturers' News section for more information about these products.)

NTEA found Altec's combination of technologies worthy of its Green Award, which recognizes the product at the Show that best improves work truck fuel utilization, as determined by a panel of truck fleet managers and trade media editors.

Altec Industries wins NTEA Green Award.
Used with permission of NTEA
Altec Industries wins NTEA Green Award for the JEMS 4 Series Jobsite Energy Management System. (Left, William Callis, senior account manager, telecommunications, Altec; right, Steve Carey, executive director, NTEA)

We'd welcome hearing about your experience at this joint event and hope to see you there next year.


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


Awards and Recognition

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

  • Cummins Corporate Research and Technology (Columbus, Indiana) — U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) — Development and demonstration of a Class 6 plug-in hybrid delivery truck that reduces fuel consumption by 50% — $4.5 million.

  • McLaren Performance Technologies (Livonia, Michigan) — U.S. DOE — Development of a Class 6 delivery truck with a scalable, lightweight, and low-cost plug-in electric-drive system that improves fuel economy by 100% — $2.6 million.

  • Robert Bosch LLC (Farmington Hills, Michigan) — U.S. DOE — Development and demonstration of a medium-duty plug-in hybrid vehicle powertrain that reduces fuel consumption by 50% — $5 million.

  • Washington Department of Ecology — U.S. EPA — Purchase and installation of diesel-fired coolant heaters for 76 publicly owned school buses — $212,067.


Regulatory News

New York State Considers Restricting Passenger Car Idling

Through companion Assembly and Senate bills, the New York legislature is considering restricting the idling of passenger cars to 3 minutes. For the proposed state law, a first violation would be met with a warning; subsequent violations would come with a $150 fine. Assembly Bill 315 and Senate Bill 7035 include the typical exemptions, including one for temperature (32°F or less). Hybrid-electric vehicles idling to provide power to the battery or other energy-storage device would also be exempt.

More than 20 New York cities (including New York City), towns, and counties restrict light-duty vehicle idling. Heavy-duty vehicles (8,500+ lb) operating in the state are already covered by a law that limits idling to 5 minutes. To read the bills' text, please go to the web page of the New York State Assembly.


Connecticut: Bill Would Broaden Idling Law Enforcement

Lawmakers in Connecticut are considering a bill that would make the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) idling regulation a Connecticut statute. As such, it would be enforceable by law-enforcement officers and not just DEEP and U.S. EPA personnel.

House Bill (HB) 5318 would prohibit commercial trucks and buses from idling for more than 3 minutes, with some exceptions. (The proposed statute excludes school buses, the idling of which is addressed by Public Act No. 02-56.) The bill has been referred to the Committee on Environment. If passed as written, the law would take effect on October 1, 2016. More information is available at the Connecticut General Assembly's web page.


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

Altec Introduces JEMS 4 Series for Utility Trucks

Altec has launched JEMS (Jobsite Energy Management System) 4 Series for utility trucks. The system provides electrified power-takeoff (ePTO) for aerial devices, tools, and accessories and lithium-ion-powered engine-off cabin heating and cooling. It also has plug-in charge capability. In addition to reducing emissions associated with engine idling, the technology may reduce engine maintenance and prolong engine life.

Altec, which developed and tested the product with ZeroRPM, won the Work Truck Show 2016 Green Award for the JEMS 4. More information is available at the Altec website.


Cool Sleeper Cabs with Help from the Sun: Dometic and eNow

Dometic and eNow have partnered to maximize rest-period cooling for long-haul sleeper trucks—with solar power. eNow's solar panels capture and store energy in the on-board battery system to power Dometic Blizzard Turbo auxiliary air conditioning and other electrical loads during the driver's rest period. According to a Dometic press release, the use of solar power increases the life of the truck's alternator and auxiliary battery system by reducing the alternator load at idle and over the road.

eNow manufactures solar-based power systems for the trucking industry, and Dometic provides cooling technologies for trucking and other industries. For more information, please visit Dometic's website.


Electrified Parking Spaces

IdleAir News

IdleAir has announced new special offers and installations. Fleets and trucks equipped with Idle Smart technology (battery-protect, cold-start, and cabin-comfort features) are eligible for volume discounts when using both IdleAir and Idle Smart products.

IdleAir is also launching service at three new facilities: dedicated fleet terminals for U.S. Xpress in Laredo, Texas, and XPO Logistics (formerly Con-way Truckload) in West Memphis, Arkansas, and service at a new Flying J in Lebanon, Ohio. At the Flying J, limited free IdleAir service will be available through April.

For more information, including special pricing packages, please go to IdleAir's website.


Additional Idle 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.