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EPA Helps Truckers Keep Their Cool While Going Green; Hybrid Diesel Electric Trailer Refrigeration Units Cut Air Pollution


EPA Helps Truckers Keep Their Cool While Going Green; Hybrid Diesel Electric Trailer Refrigeration Units Cut Air Pollution

Release date: 04/11/2007

Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664,

(New York, N.Y.) What do chicken dinners, salmon and filet mignon have in common? They could all be found in a state-of-the-art pollution slashing hybrid diesel electric trailer refrigeration unit like the one showcased by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today at Pier 92. The technology allows refrigerated trucks and trailers to remain icy cold while switching from diesel power to electric power during loading and unloading, reducing diesel emissions to zero. The technology also puts a lid on fuel costs and noise. EPA’s Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg appeared with representatives from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) and companies that make the technology to observe a low-polluting truck that delivered goods to a Holland America Lines cruise ship at the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s facility.

“Hybrid diesel electric power demonstrates that businesses can go green while they keep their cool,” said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. “Refrigeration is an integral part of America’s transportation and delivery system. Thanks to EPA and our partners, businesses now have the power to shrink their environmental footprint while increasing their bottom line.”

Paving the way for cleaner and energy efficient alternatives in the trucking industry, Shurepower LLC, Carrier Transicold, Maines Paper and Food Service, Inc., New West Technologies and Great Dane Trailers used money provided by EPA and NYSERDA to help fund the first of its kind demonstration pilot project. The original pilot project, located in a Maines Paper & Food Service, Inc. distribution facility in Conklin, N.Y. involved setting up and operating electrified loading docks and parking spaces for commercial heavy-duty diesel trucks and refrigerated trailers to power the refrigeration. The project was part of a nation-wide effort to reduce pollution from truck fleets known as EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership.

NYSERDA President and CEO Peter R. Smith noted that since 2000, New York State has committed $2.55 million in cooperation with EPA and the Department of Energy in pursuing technologies to displace the nation’s petroleum use that goes to transportation. “NYSERDA projects thrive on cooperation among our federal and private partners. Through hybrid-power technology applications, we can make advances to ensure that motor freight, and especially food, is cared for in the most energy-efficient and environmentally responsive way,” Smith said.

Trailer refrigeration units are the standard for preserving and cooling goods during transport and delivery. The demonstration project featured eTRU, also known as hybrid diesel electric trailer refrigeration unit. eTRU technology enables an electric powered source of energy from a loading dock or parking space to keep the truck’s load or trailer compartments at a specific temperature without having to run the engine. The technology works by installing an electric device on a loading dock or parking space and equipping a diesel truck or refrigerated trailer with special components that connect the diesel engine to the electric power grid. Once plugged in, the diesel engine can be totally shut down producing zero diesel emissions.

The Carrier Transicold Vector 1800 MT multi-temperature trailer refrigeration system features unique, hybrid diesel-electric technology that enables shippers to effectively regulate the temperature of multiple compartments within the trailer. It combines a diesel engine with an electrical generator to reduce air pollution and sound levels, eliminate many components and maintenance items, and increase reliability and performance. The Shurepower’s electrified truck parking system is a low cost alternative to idling that provides drivers with grid-based electricity. Maines Paper & Food Service, Inc. was a key partner in developing the project at its distribution center in Conklin, NY. New West Technologies, LLC assisted Shurepower in the project by providing engineering expertise.

EPA recognizes that various technologies, strategies, and behaviors can effectively reduce long-duration idling while providing the truck driver with essential needs such as heat or air conditioning. Truck stop electrification allows the electrical grid to supply power to truck on-board components or stationary components for heating, cooling and other needs.

Extended idling has a significant impact upon air quality. On a national scale, extended truck idling contributes, annually, 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 200,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen, and 5,000 tons of particulate matter. Additionally, idling long haul trucks consume over one billion gallons of fuel, costing over $2 billion annually.

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is an innovative program developed by EPA and the freight industry to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution, and to promote cleaner, more efficient ground freight transportation. The Partnership provides companies with technical assistance, tools for evaluating opportunities, and help locating financing to purchase these technologies.

To learn more about EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership, please visit:


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