Truck owners and operators are switching from idling to clean electricity, thanks to a federally funded program that provides purchase rebates for equipment that can connect with the grid to run in-cab conveniences and comforts.
The Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP) still has money available to provide rebates on anti-idling equipment that cuts fuel costs as well as noise and air emissions.
STEP includes more than $10 million in rebates toward the total cost of diesel APUs configured for electrical connections, battery-powered HVAC systems, evaporative coolers, trailer refrigeration units, cold-plate systems and plug-in connection kits, and for anti-idling equipment on new vehicles.
Through another part of the STEP program, 50 truckstops on major freight corridors nationwide are being outfitted with electrical connections at parking spaces, so truckers can plug in during rest breaks and enjoy cab heating and air-conditioning, appliances, and communication and entertainment devices without idling the engine. Many of those sites will also have higher-voltage connections for trailer reefer units.
Almost three-fourths of rebates allocated for battery-powered HVAC systems remain, with smaller percentages available for diesel APUs, cold-plate systems, and evaporative coolers. Trailer reefer unit rebates have been fully allocated, although applications are being accepted on a waiting list.
Under the STEP program, rebates are provided for idle-reduction equipment on medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, that runs on battery power and can be recharged and operated through an electrical connection at a plug-in site, or that has the option to run on electrical power. Idle-reduction equipment providing cab-comfort amenities runs from a standard 120-volt AC electrical connection.
The program provides incentives of up to 20% of the installed price or to a maximum set according to the specific type of equipment. APUs or generator sets configured to operate on plug-in power, for example, are eligible for up to $2,000 in rebates each. For other types of equipment, the maximums are: battery HVAC systems, $1,600; battery evaporative cooler systems, $700; thermal storage systems, $260; and truck cold plate systems, $3,200.
STEP rebates are open to individual owner-operators and fleets. Participants must apply for rebates and receive approval before having equipment installed. Applications can be filled out online or through a paper form at www.csswebform.org/WebForm/TSE_home.aspx.
For a listing of approved equipment and suppliers, go to www.csswebform.org/WebForm/Supplier_list.aspx.