Alternatives to Truck Engine Idling

Principal Investigator: Shauna Hallmark
Co-Investigators: Randy Boeckenstedt & Dennis Kroeger
Organization: Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE), Iowa State University
Grant Period: July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2005
Technical Area: Energy Efficiency

Executive Summary

This report includes three sections. The first correlates the activities that resulted from each task and sub-task specified in the project’s scope of work. The second summarizes the observations gathered during the course of the project. The final section lists our recommendations regarding the Year 2 Project Extension. Copies of conference presentations, reference materials, and links to related programs are posted on the project website.

The primary objective of this project was to develop awareness of alternative truck idle reduction technologies in Iowa, and along the Interstate-35 trade corridor. Sub-objectives were to:

1. Organize and carry out a one to two day conference to be carried out sometime during May or June 2004, and that supports commercial adoption of idle reduction technologies in Iowa.
2. Develop interim involvement of stakeholders with appropriate expertise, practical knowledge, contacts, and peripheral resources to support implementation of truck idle reduction technologies in Iowa.
3. Carry out activities defined by an initial focus group survey to develop relevant knowledge relating to truck idle reduction technologies and implementation issues.

Iowa Energy Center – Energy Funding, Efficiency and Renewables – Transportation – Case Studies and Projects – Alternatives to Truck Engine Idling

Based on the insights that emerged from this, we have determined that our ability to implement a practical TSE demonstration in Iowa will be limited by several factors in the near future that are explained more thoroughly in this report. Iowa is currently in attainment of all air quality standards relevant to truck idling, and ranks just below average (30th) in terms of projected truck parking demand. From a national perspective, this implies that out-of-state public and private resources to support “stationary” (TSE) facilities would be more effectively targeted to other areas of the country with higher traffic and more urgent air quality concerns. In effect, a stationary demonstration in Iowa would largely depend on limited state or local resources, with no regulatory need, or reliable indication of fleet accessibility.

As such, we have concluded that Iowa’s contribution to idle reduction over the course of the next year could more cost-effectively be served by pursuing the adoption of mobile technologies by Iowa based fleets and owners that operate in out-of-state non-attainment areas. In this regard, we propose to “wait-and-see” if unsubsidized TSE concepts prove successful in other states, if they become less expensive, or whether more mobile alternatives emerge to service idle reduction across broader geographic and functional contexts. Our goals during the interim would be to facilitate and monitor pilot demonstrations of new or emerging technologies with emphasis on gaining a better understanding of the situational perspectives encountered by fleets.