IdleAire Technologies Corp. announced Thursday, Aug. 9, that it opened its 123rd and 124th Advanced Travel Center Electrification installations over a four-day period, both locations along the heavily traveled Interstate 10 corridor. The Conoco Travel Center in Baytown, Texas, opened 54 spaces Aug. 2 at Exit 797 (Texas Highway 146) on I-10, and the TravelCenters of America in Slidell, La., opened 51 spaces on Aug. 5 at Exit 266 (Gause Blvd.) on I-10.
These 105 IdleAire-equipped parking spaces are designed to allow long-haul drivers to shut their trucks off instead of idling when resting by providing individually controlled heating and air conditioning to maintain cab comfort — the reason most drivers idle. The system also provides electrical outlets, touchscreen Internet access, satellite television and a telephone connection. The only truck retrofit required is a $10 window adapter, a one-time purchase.
System use can cost as little as $1.85 an hour, compared to the cost of a gallon of diesel required for an hour of idling, which averaged more than $2.89 as of Monday, Aug. 6. In addition to conserving fuel and improving air quality, not idling also reduces engine maintenance, extends engine life, reduces noise pollution and allows drivers to get better rest.
According to Knoxville, Tenn.-based IdleAire, more than 1,000 fleets pay for their drivers to use basic services because of the savings over idling. The IdleAire system also provides additional entertainment and communications options, including movies on demand and high-speed Internet, for an additional charge.
IdleAire says as of Monday, Aug. 6, it has eliminated an estimated 444 million pounds of diesel emissions and conserved about 19 million gallons of diesel since its first installation. The company has opened 105 installations along major freight routes in the past 16 months and now has a presence in 33 states, or two-thirds of the continental United States.