ATRI awarded EPA idling study grant

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The American Transportation Research Institute has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study engine idling reduction technologies as part of EPA’s long-term efforts to conserve fuel and reduce emissions for the trucking industry.

The award to ATRI is one of a total of $5 million in grants from the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership program to help promote technologies that save fuel while also reducing pollution.

ATRI’s research will concentrate on mobile solutions that can be used while drivers are waiting to load and unload freight or while taking rest breaks. With its focus on mobile solutions, ATRI will work with motor carriers to identify and evaluate idle reduction technologies installed as part of the truck manufacturing process or prior to the trucks being placed in service. Motor carriers interested in learning how to participate in ATRI’s research can learn more by going to www.atri-online.org.

The trucking industry consumes about 35 billion gallons of diesel fuel each year. Of that, extended idling consumes more than 2 billion gallons.

The funds to study engine idle reduction technologies come at a critical time as the trucking industry is on pace to spend an unprecedented $85 billion more on fuel this year than last. Engine idle reduction technologies have the potential to save the industry 15 million gallons of diesel fuel and about $45 million over the life of the project.

In 2000, EPA had initiated a voluntary program to reduce truck engine idling as a means to conserve energy and reduce emissions. The National Energy Policy directed EPA to work with trucking to establish a program to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. This included implementing alternatives to idling, such as deploying electrification at truck stops and auxiliary power units on trucks. Congress this year earmarked $5 million in grants to deploy idle reduction and energy conservation technologies under EPA’s voluntary SmartWay Transport Partnership.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.