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 most recent issue; the archives are available on the Archives page.
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April 2015 National Idling Reduction Network News: From a Guest Editor
It's Bigger Than Big Trucks
In the 1980s, DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory started looking at the fuel wasted by idling trucks. It wasn’t until 1998, however, that we made a serious effort to quantify it. An out-of-the-box-thinking Argonne analyst found a groundbreaking DOE sponsor who wanted to know the amount of fuel wasted and the emissions created by the overnight idling of long-haul trucks. Argonne’s first study estimated these impacts, with surprising results: almost 1 billion gallons of fuel wasted annually. By the time we convened the National Idling Reduction Planning Conference in 2004, we had expanded our scope to include other heavy vehicles such as buses and locomotives. With the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the U.S. DOE Clean Cities program added idling reduction to its portfolio.
Since then, we’ve continued to expand our efforts. In the course of our travels, we noticed trucks of all sizes idling at various locations as part of their standard duty cycles. We were surprised to find that the fuel wasted during workday idling is more than double that wasted overnight. Although most commercial trucks idle fewer hours than overnight sleeper trucks, the total population of commercial trucks is far greater. While some workday idling supplies power needed to perform the trucks’ function, alternative power sources are now being developed. Similarly, just because emergency vehicles are exempt from idling regulations doesn’t mean they can’t reduce the fuel they waste from idling. With all of these vehicles, it’s important to note that our goal is to reduce vehicle idling and associated costs without compromising driver comfort or the vehicle’s ability to perform its work functions.
But our work isn’t limited to heavy-duty or commercial vehicles. The population of passenger cars is even greater than that of commercial trucks, so even a few minutes of idling per day means that total passenger car idling wastes as much fuel as truck idling. Therefore, passenger car idling is also now part of the DOE idling-reduction portfolio.
So, over the years, our scope has broadened from the overnight idling of 80,000-lb GVW long-haul trucks to include vehicles down to the size of my Prius C. Off-road vehicles and ships are in our sights as well.
What have we accomplished over these past 15 years? We’ve published technical reports, papers, and fact sheets, given presentations, exhibited posters, created IdleBox and IdleBase to educate stakeholders, and worked with the National Park Service and others to reduce unnecessary idling and associated emissions.
Where do we go from here? We’d be interested in your thoughts about studies to expand our knowledge of idling reduction or niches that could use special attention.
Dr. Linda Gaines
Transportation Systems Analyst
Argonne National Laboratory
Terry M. Levinson, Editor
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
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program — South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization — $1.9 million — June 5, 2015.
National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program — U.S. EPA — $13.5 million — June 15, 2015.
CMAQ Program — Wisconsin Department of Transportation — ~$10.7 million — June 19, 2015.
Locomotive Idle Reduction Program — New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) — $245,000 — July 15, 2015.
Northeast Diesel Collaborative Breathe Easy Award (call for nominations) — Northeast Diesel Collaborative — Not applicable — July 31, 2015.
First Come, First Served
Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program — Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) — Unknown funding level.
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.
Clean Fuel Transition Fund for Public Fleets (includes idling reduction) — Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership — $909,200.
New York State Electric Vehicle Voucher Incentive Fund (NYSEV-VIF) — New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) — $9 million.
Small Business Pollution Prevention Assistance Account Loan Program — Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection — $2 million annually.
Rolling Deadline Until Funds Are Awarded
Business Assistance Program, Environmental Loans for Small Businesses — Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality — Indeterminate.
On-Road Heavy-Duty Vehicle Loan Program — California Air Resources Board (CARB) — ~$48 million for loan guarantees.
Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program (school buses only) — Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — $1 million annually through 2016.
Driver Recognition Program: Diesel Idle Reduction Campaign — Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), in collaboration with the District Department of the Environment, the District Department of Transportation, and the Maryland Department of the Environment — Not applicable — Rolling deadline: the 15th of every month.
Small Business APU (auxiliary power unit) Loan Program — Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) — $110,000.
California Toughens GHG Emission Targets
California Governor Jerry Brown has issued an Executive Order to establish a state greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. This new emission-reduction target will better put the state on track to reaching the larger goal of reducing emissions to 80% under 1990 levels by 2050. To read Executive Order B-30-15, please go to the California Governor’s website.
Awards and Recognition
Awardee — Source of Award — Purpose of Award — Award Amount
City of Los Angeles Harbor Department — U.S. EPA — Replacement of an older diesel cargo crane with a zero-emission, all-electric crane — $1.3 million.
Port of Houston Authority — U.S. EPA — Replacement of 14 older drayage trucks, including the installation of GPS units to provide data on idling and other operations — $899,960
River Valley Local Schools (Marion County, Ohio) — Ohio EPA — Installation of emission-control equipment on 3 school buses and idle reduction equipment on 17 school buses — $51,809.
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (Puget Sound, Washington) — U.S. EPA — Replacement of 12 older marine diesel engines with new, low-emission diesel engines as well as the installation of shore-power pedestals at fishing docks to allow engines to be shut down during loading and unloading — $792,000.
Reports and Other Resources of Interest
Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)
APUs: Money-Saver or Pricey Indulgence? (trucknews.com)
Big Growth Predicted for Start/Stop Engine Systems (Fleet Owner)
Stop-Start Vehicles: Onboard Energy Storage, Lead-Acid Batteries, Lithium Ion Batteries, and Ultracapacitors: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts (Navigant Research) Link provides abstract/summary and ordering information
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Name of meeting [with Link to Website] Date (Location) (Information new since last month in boldface.)
Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo May 4–7, 2015 (Dallas, Texas)
Transportation for Sustainability—An International Conference May 7–8, 2015 (Washington, D.C.)
Southern California Green Airport Fleets Workshop May 21, 2015 (Santa Ana, California)
Louisiana Alternative Fuels Conference & Expo May 22, 2015 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
2015 DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and Vehicle Technologies Office Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting June 8–12, 2015 (Arlington, Virginia)
Government Fleet Expo & Conference (GFX) June 8–11, 2015 (Denver, Colorado)
Fleet Technology Expo August 24–26, 2015 (Long Beach, California)
Fleet Con September 14–17, 2015 (Glendale, Arizona)
Utility Fleet Conference September 28–30, 2015 (Louisville, Kentucky)
SAE 2015 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress October 6–8, 2015 (Rosemont, Illinois)
2016 TRB 95th Annual Meeting January 10–14, 2016 (Washington, D.C.)
CARB Course 520: How To Comply with CARB Diesel Regulations (Multiple dates and locations)
NITE + Solar Power
Bergstrom now offers a solar-power energy solution paired with its No-Idle Thermal Environment (NITE) system. The eNow solar-power system harvests solar energy and transfers it as electrical energy to the on-board battery system, enabling the battery system to run the electrical components even longer. The solar-energy system charges even when the truck is not in use. For more information, please go to the Bergstrom website.
Dometic Introduces the Blizzard Turbo
Dometic Group has launched its high-BTU air conditioner designed to operate without running a truck’s engine, the Blizzard Turbo. Providing 7,000 BTUs of cooling, the air conditioner can be powered by batteries, generator, or shore power. The split system puts the condenser unit on the outside of the truck with the quieter evaporator unit blowing cool air into the cab. For more information about the Blizzard Turbo, please go to the Dometic website.
Electrified Parking Spaces
The New IdleAir Celebrates Five Years in Business
Convoy Solutions recently celebrated its fifth anniversary operating as IdleAir. In 2010, it acquired the bankrupt IdleAire, changed the name to IdleAir, and pursued a more focused business model. The company currently has installations at more than 40 truck stops and fleet terminals and recently broke ground on an installation in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
According to a recent IdleAir press release, the company has absorbed most of the assets and operations of American Idle Reduction (AIR) and is working to allow AIR’s core locations to accept IdleAir member-card and fleet-card traffic. IdleAir is also exploring the possibility of long-term redevelopment of brownfields and other underused properties in congested trucking corridors to create safe, TSE-equipped parking spaces. Please see the IdleAir website for more information about recent developments.
Education, Outreach, and Campaigns
Banks of Utah Says, "Stop Idling. Start $aving."
The Bank of Utah, a locally owned, 13-branch bank headquartered in Odgen, Utah, is raising awareness about the consequences of vehicle idling at drive-throughs. Its “Stop Idling. Start $aving.” message comes directly from IdleBox, U.S. DOE’s Clean Cities’ outreach toolkit. To see a video about the bank’s initiative, please go to good4utah.com.
Other News of Interest
Quadrennial Energy Review Reinforces Value of DERA Funding
The Obama Administration released the first installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review, which examines ways to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure for increased economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility. Among the report’s recommendations is the provision of funding to support diesel emissions reduction. “To protect workers and nearby communities through further reductions in diesel particulate matter emissions from ports and rail yards, the Administration proposed and Congress should provide funding for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act [DERA] and other related programs.” The White House’s Press Office website provides more information.