Truckers now get help with conserving energy via the Internet. A new Internet-based mapping system is helping truckers find truck stops with idle-reduction facilities in order to help cut fuel use while reducing air emissions.
The Truck Stop Electrification Station Locator was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration and is the result of collaboration between FHWA and the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities activity.
According to the NREL, reducing the amount of time trucks are idle, which is about six hours a night, can reduce engine wear and maintenance costs, while routine maintenance can be performed less often and engines last longer before needing an overhaul.
Therefore, this mapping tool, the government hopes, will help some 500,000 long-haul trucks with sleeper cabs to find TSE stations -- allowing them to "plug in" long-haul tractor-trailers so they can operate the heater, air-conditioner or run electrical appliances during rest periods.
NREL estimates idle-reduction technologies could reduce diesel-fuel use by about 800 million gallons annually -- with potential savings to the trucking industry of $2 billion each year -- and at the same time reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions by approximately 150,000 tons per year and particulate matter emissions by up to 3,000 tons per year.
Currently, there are fewer than 50 TSE stations in eleven states, but more plans are being made to open new facilities.
The free mapping tool is available at www.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/idle/station_locator.html
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
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