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8 more truck stops join nationwide network of electric plug-in power pedestals

Jim Miller, owner of Ports to Plains Travel Plaza near U.S. Highway 50 and U.S. Highway 287 in Lamar, Colo., said he sees truckstop electrification as a wave of the future.

The Trucker News Services

12/20/2012

PORTLAND, Ore. — Shorepower Technologies has announced eight more truckstops added electric plug-in power pedestals to their locations. Connections providing 480-volt power for hybrid refrigerated trailers are also being installed at four of the eight truckstops.

Below is a full list of the eight truckstops now offering shorepower for trucks and 480-volt power for hybrid refrigerated trailers:

• Pilot Travel Center - Dunnigan, Calif., 24 plug-ins and five refrigeration unit connections (480V).

• Ports to Plains Travel Plaza – Lamar, Colo., 20 plug-ins.

• Parma Travel Center - Parma, Mich., 24 plug-ins.

• Russell’s Truck and Travel – Springer, N.M., 24 plug-ins and four refrigeration unit connections (480V).

• Dukes Travel Plaza - Canton, Texas, 24 plug-ins and five refrigeration unit connections (480V). Cable TV will also be available through the pedestal at the Canton, Texas, location.

• Eagle’s Landing / Flying J – Beaver, Utah, 24 plug-ins and four refrigeration unit connections (480V).

• Eastgate Travel Plaza - Evansville, Wyo., 24 plug-ins.

• Little America – Little America, Wyo., (near Green River), 36 plug-ins and five refrigeration unit connections (480V).

The eight truckstops are among 50 locations around the country being outfitted by Shorepower Technologies. Shorepower provided the electrical pedestals through the Department of Energy’s Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP) — administered through Cascade Sierra Solutions, a non-profit based in Eugene, Ore.

“We’re seeing more truck drivers coming through with new trucks equipped with electrical HVAC systems that have shore power capability,” said Lorrie Hogan, spokesperson for Eastgate Travel Plaza, just off Exit 182 of U.S. Interstate 25 in Evansville, Wyo., about 5 miles east of Casper. “Even before the pedestals were being installed in late November, we had a number of truck drivers come in and ask us when they’d be installed.”

Jim Miller, owner of Ports to Plains Travel Plaza near U.S. Highway 50 and U.S. Highway 287 in Lamar, Colo., said he sees truckstop electrification as a wave of the future. When he owned and operated the Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza several years ago, Miller said he worked with Cascade Sierra Solutions and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to have that truckstop outfitted with electrification.

“It’s the right thing to do because it’s good for the environment and because it provides truck operators a way to save money on fuel costs,” Miller said. When he bought the Ports to Plains Travel Center about three years ago, Miller said he was determined to bring the same opportunities to his new customers.

The Ports to Plains Trade Corridor, which includes a segment of U.S. Highway 287 through Lamar, Colo., is a federally designated high-priority highway corridor between the U.S. - Mexican border at Laredo, Texas and Denver, Colo. The corridor is a major freight route for equipment and supplies supporting oil and gas exploration, wind energy generation, and agricultural production in nine states and the province of Alberta.

Twenty-four parking spaces at Eastgate and 20 spaces at Ports to Plains are now equipped with electrical service allowing drivers to operate heaters, air conditioning systems and appliances in their cabs without having to run the engine. The plug-in stations are similar to those already available at boat marinas and recreational vehicle parks.

Hogan and Miller both said as more trucks are built and replace older units, they see even greater demand coming for shore power connections. Hogan and Miller said Eastgate and Ports to Plains will add additional pedestals as demand for truckstop electrification grows.

“We want to be there on the forefront of that movement toward truckstop electrification,” Hogan added. “We want to be able to respond to that expected demand particularly since we’re in a colder climate and staying warm is a necessity for truck drivers. Even during the summer, it can get pretty warm. By eliminating idling, we can help truckers save about $30 to $40 each night.”

Both Eastgate and Ports to Plains travel plazas have room for about 200 tractor and trailer combinations. Eastgate is nearly full each night while Ports to Plains has more empty spaces. But Miller said with a continuously growing amount of freight traffic traveling through the area, each month the number of empty spaces gets smaller.

According to the National Weather Service, the Casper, Wyo., area has 10 months of low temperatures that average 43 degrees or colder, including six months of average low temperatures below freezing. The Lamar, Colo., area has seven months of low temperatures that average 36 degrees or colder. Full utilization of power pedestals over 10 months to heat the cab/sleeper with a space heater or shore power compatible on-board auxiliary power unit would mean a savings of close to 114,000 gallons of fuel for truckers. It would also mean 1,140 less tons of carbon dioxide being put into the air.

“As shippers keep a closer eye on the amount of carbon being released into the air by the truck operators they hire, savvy operators see shore power connections in their trucks and the installation of pedestals in their truckstops as a great opportunity to reduce their carbon footprints, as well as their fuel bills,” said Alan Bates, Shorepower’s vice president of marketing. “They also make themselves more appealing as the operators of choice.

“The Eastgate and Ports to Plains travel plazas offer key stops for trucking companies and owner operators to take advantage of the electrification that we are introducing to a growing number of truckstops nationally,” Bates added. “Each month, more new locations come online. That’s exciting as awareness makes grid-based power something more truck drivers are expecting.”

Shorepower is a transportation electrification infrastructure company offering simple, cost-effective solutions for connecting cars and trucks to the electrical grid. Products and services offered include SmartWay(™)-verified Truck Stop Electrification (TSE), as well as charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). Shorepower corporate facilities are located in Portland, Oregon and Utica, New York.

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Cascade Sierra Solutions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Eugene, Oregon, dedicated to identifying, promoting and financing the use of clean technologies to reduce fuel consumption and emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks. Cascade Sierra Solutions works with local clean-air agencies, government entities, and independent truckers and fleets to drive the green trucking revolution across the US and around the world.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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