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Rebates still available for anti-idling equipment

Fifty truck stops on major freight corridors around the country are being outfitted with electrical connections at parking spaces so trucks can plug in while on their rest breaks and enjoy cab heating and air conditioning, appliances and communication and entertainment devices without idling.

The Trucker News Services

2/22/2012

PORTLAND, Ore. — Truck owners and operators are making the switch from idling to clean electricity, thanks to a federally funded program that provides purchase rebates for equipment that can connect with the grid to run in-cab conveniences and comforts.

The Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP) still has money available to provide rebates on anti-idling equipment that cuts fuel costs as well as harmful noise and air emissions.

The STEP program includes more than $10 million in rebates toward the total cost of diesel APUs configured for electrical connections, battery-powered HVAC systems, evaporative coolers, trailer refrigeration units, cold-plate systems and plug-in connection kits, and for anti-idling equipment on new vehicles.

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“We’re very pleased with the level of participation in this program,” said David Orton, marketing manager for Cascade Sierra Solutions, which is administering the rebate program. “Reducing idling has benefits for so many people in the trucking industry and in communities bordering busy freight corridors. The number of firms that are participating is evidence that the market is ready for this technology.”

Through another part of the STEP program, 50 truck stops on major freight corridors around the country are being outfitted with electrical connections at parking spaces so trucks can plug in while on their rest breaks and enjoy cab heating and air conditioning, appliances and communication and entertainment devices without idling. Many of those sites will also have higher-voltage connections for trailer refrigeration units.

“By providing incentives for vehicle owners to install anti-idling equipment, and by providing places on the road for truckers to connect to grid power and put that equipment to work, STEP represents a huge stride toward the day when plugging in is standard operating procedure in this business, and idling is a rarity,” Orton said.

“We have already begun boosting the number of plug-in sites on routes like I-5, and will be turning on the power at dozens of sites around the country this year,” added Alan Bates, vice president of marketing at Shorepower Technologies, which is in charge of installing electrified parking spaces at truck stops. “Instead of worrying about whether the plug-in sites at truck stops come first, or the anti-idling equipment on trucks comes first, we’re bringing both of those crucial elements to market at the same time, so drivers, vehicle owners and communities can reap the benefits.”

Almost three-fourths of the rebates allocated for battery-powered HVAC systems still remain, with smaller percentages available for diesel APUs, cold-plate systems and evaporative coolers. Rebates for trailer refrigeration units have been fully allocated, although applications are being accepted on a waiting list.

“Those owners and operators who are interested in reducing idling but haven’t made the commitment yet should know it’s not too late to tap this financial resource,” Orton said.

Under the STEP program, rebates are provided for idle-reduction equipment for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that run on battery power and can be recharged and operated through an electrical connection at a plug-in site. There’s also an option to run on electrical power. Idle-reduction equipment providing cab-comfort amenities runs from a standard 120-volt AC electrical connection.

The program provides incentives of up to 20 percent of the installed price or to a maximum set according to the specific type of equipment. APUs or generator sets configured to operate on plug-in power, for example, are eligible for up to $2,000 in rebates each. For other types of equipment the maximums are: battery HVAC systems, $1,600; battery evaporative cooler systems, $700; thermal storage systems, $260; and truck cold plate systems, $3,200.

STEP rebates are open to individual owner-operators and to fleets.

Participants must apply for the rebates and receive approval before having the equipment installed. Applications can be filled out online or through a paper form here.

For a listing of approved equipment and suppliers, go here.

For information on other Cascade Sierra Solutions incentive programs, go here.

Cascade Sierra Solutions is a Eugene, Ore., -based nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving natural resources and enhancing public health through freight transportation energy efficiency improvements and emission reductions. In the past four years, CSS has helped trucking businesses located in all 48 lower states and Alaska, saving over 24,500 gallons of diesel fuel daily.

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.

The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at editor@thetrucker.com.

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