DEEP: Truck Stop Electrification

Truck Stop Electrification (TSE)

What is Truck Stop Electrification?

Truck stop electrification (TSE) allows truck drivers to have heat, air conditioning and electricity for in-cab appliances without idling their truck engines.  While there are variations among manufacturers, most of the technologies consist of a window-mounted unit that provides heat or air conditioning through flexible tubes.  The units may also provide outlets for in-cab appliances, internet hookups, cable television and other comfort features.  The TSE facilities can include card payment machines, security systems and monitoring.  It is anticipated that some TSE facilities will also provide charging stations for electric cars.

Diesel-powered trucks are the source of approximately 22% of the ozone-producing nitrogen oxides in the state, as well as significant amounts of particulate matter, toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHGs).  Idling trucks contribute to Connecticut’s non-attainment status for the health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and particulate matter.  The 2006 Connecticut Clean Diesel Plan cited TSE units and other idle reduction technologies as valuable aids to fleets in limiting idling time and complying with state regulations.  TSE facilities can decrease Connecticut residents’ exposure to the diesel pollutants that can aggravate asthma, bronchitis and other cardiovascular conditions.  Controlling the emissions from diesel trucks is an emerging aspect of Connecticut’s air quality attainment and GHG reduction efforts and important as part of a balanced strategy that includes reductions from the stationary, area and mobile source sectors. 

In addition, idling trucks consume 0.8 to 1.0 gallons of fuel per hour.  The annual cost of that consumed fuel is estimated at $2,400 per truck plus an additional $250 to cover idling-related maintenance.  Drivers and fleet owners can experience significant savings through the use of TSE and other idle reduction technologies. 

Installation of TSE units at existing truck stops and service plazas can eliminate the longest periods of idling, when drivers take their federally mandated rest periods.  Significant benefits can also accrue from facilities installed at ports or distribution centers/hubs, where truck engines frequently idle while the drivers await their turns at the loading docks.  A number of new TSE facilities have recently opened or are under development in Connecticut and the Northeast.

TSE Facilities in Connecticut and the Region

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) is installing TSE facilities as part of the CT DOT Service Plaza Initiative – A Redevelopment Program.  Information on the idle reduction and other services available at two of the recently reopened service plazas can be found at:
• I-95 Milford Northbound
• I-95 Milford Southbound

{New Haven}
New Haven, CT: In 2009, the City of New Haven received stimulus funding from DEEP for establishment of a TSE facility to reduce emissions from trucks idling in the port district.  Fourteen units have been installed at the corner of Alabama and Stiles Streets, in a neighborhood where truck engines currently idle while the drivers await their turns for delivery and pickup at the Port of New Haven.  This will relieve a long-standing idling concern in the neighborhood.  State, local and federal officials visited the facility on a June 9, 2011.  The facility was opened in the fall of 2011.

North Stonington, CT: The American Auto Stop, along I-95 in North Stonington, CT, has 116 electrified spaces outfitted with CabAire service towers.  To help meet local zoning demands and {North Stonington} state anti-idling regulations, American Auto Stop’s facility includes sensors that can turn on low energy LED lighting when a truck arrives at night and can detect whether the vehicles are idling.

Mike Griffin, a truck driver for Heartland Express, loves the truck electrification service at the American Auto Stop. “With fuel prices so high, and fleet management focused on fuel conservation and engine wear, I welcome having the comforts of home while saving fuel and keeping the air cleaner. One thing I do appreciate is the quiet parking lot. With the engines off and CabAire’s air conditioner, it’s real quiet. Drivers need idle free quiet zones to get the rest they need for safer driving.”

The CabAire truck stop electrification technology was the creation of a Connecticut company, Control Module. 

Canaan, NY:  The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded a cost shared contract to EnviroDock, Inc., of White Plains, NY, enabling it to complete its first installation of five E-Dock Stationary units at the Canaan Truck Stop in Canaan, NY off I- {Canaan NY} 90 exit B3.  This is the latest in a series of NYSERDA-sponsored electrified truck stops in New York, supporting the development and deployment of TSE technologies from a variety of manufacturers. 

Owner and operator of Canaan Truck Stop, Lou Polsinello, stated "…I am very pleased with the opportunity to work with the State of New York and EnviroDock to better serve my customers. Together, we have implemented the latest idling alternative technology in an effort to keep the air clean, Save the Diesel for the Drive, and keep my customers comfortable as they rest." 

{Gardiner Maine}
Gardiner, ME:  The Maine Turnpike Authority received an assistance grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), providing funding under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 for a the construction of 30 electrified parking spaces at the West Gardiner, ME service plaza. This location is an important link in a chain of TSE facilities between the Canadian Maritimes and Florida. Depending on the price of diesel fuel, it is projected that truckers will save $20 per 10-hour stopover.  AireDock, of Belchertown, MA, installed and is operating the units at the West Gardiner Service Plaza site.  The facility was opened in the summer of 2010.

{Albany NY}
Albany, NYShorepower technology is featured at a small TSE facility located near the intersection of I-90 and I-87 in Albany.  This system is an “on-board” TSE unit, which is installed on the truck, enabling the truck’s heating and air conditioning system to be connected, by cables, to low profile power supply kiosks at the TSE facilities.  Shorepower facilities are concentrated in the Northwest.

Case studies and related information:

Hunts Point Cooperative Market: South Bronx, New York City: The Hunts Point Truck/Trailer Electrification Pilot Project (PDF, 116 KB)

New York State Thruway (I-90), DeWitt Service Area, east of Syracuse; a NYSERDA project: Truck Stop Electrification as a Long-Haul Idling Alternative (PDF, 334KB).  Both studies involved technology by IdleAire

Related Sites:

U.S. Department of Energy TSE Site: Provides information on the location of TSE facilities nationwide.

EPA SmartWay Technologies: Provides information on currently verified TSE technologies.

EPA Clean Diesel Website has also featured TSE facilities funded through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. 

State Environmental Agency Websites: Here, from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, is an example of a State website with information on its TSE facilities: Gov. Markell, Congressional Delegation announce opening of Delaware’s first electrified parking area for trucks.

Content last updated on July 9, 2013