The new federal energy bill contains a $100-million diesel truck retrofit and fleet modernization program, a broad $1-billion diesel engine retrofit program as well as $94.5 million earmarked for idle-reduction technology related to heavy trucks.
The reduction of engine idling (Sec. 756) program is among the most significant energy conservation provisions in the bill related to the trucking industry, said Glen Kedzie, environmental council of the American Trucking Assns. The $94.5-million truck component will bolster the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership to deploy auxiliary power units (APUs) and advanced truckstop electrification systems. The federal program will fund half the cost of the equipment.
“The money could potentially go to APUs, ‘super-single’ tires, aprons around trucks and truckstop electrification,” Kedzie told Fleet Owner.
Under the new rule, added weight from idle reduction technologies, such as APUs, will not count toward the maximum gross vehicle weight limit for any heavy-duty vehicle so equipped.
The diesel truck retrofit and fleet modernization program (Sec. 742) commits $100 million to the installation of retrofit technologies on diesel trucks, with preference to ports and major hauling operations. Grant recipients will be required to pay for at least half of the total retrofit costs.
The massive $1-billion diesel emissions reduction (Sec. 791-795) provision will be divided among buses, marine, locomotives, nonroad engines or vehicles, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Half of the money will be given to public fleets.
“The goal [of the diesel truck retrofit and fleet modernization program] was to get money allocated specifically to fleets entering and leaving ports,” said Kedzie. “The ($1 billion diesel emissions reduction provision) really covers many sectors whereas the [port truck retrofit program] covers fleets specifically.”
The energy bill has been passed by Congress and sent to the President, who is expected to sign it into law.