Unnecessary idling pollutes the air, wastes fuel, and causes excess engine wear. Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) are efficient generators truckers and RVs can use to help save the amount of diesel fuel being used while the vehicle is being lived in but not driven. APUs provide a larger array of comfort features for drivers looking to reduce idling. APUs can provide heat, air conditioning, power for household electrical devices and engine heat. Most devices combine a small heater, a compressor for air conditioning and an alternator. APUs may be powered by diesel fuel directly from the tractor fuel tank, or by a bank of rechargeable batteries. Diesel driven APUs can operate for 5 hours or more on a single gallon of diesel fuel. For locomotives, APUs automatically shut down the main locomotive engine idle while maintaining all vital main engine systems at greatly reduced fuel consumption.
Strategies and Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Cost to the City
The cost of purchasing APUs, locating and developing an APU facility, and the cost required to market a local anti-idling ordinance is going to be relatively high.
Portland, Oregon has implemented an objective to increase the use of highly fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel engines in on-road and off-road vehicles as well as in stationary applications:
Charlotte, North Carolina has implemented an anti-idling policy. In October 2004, the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) implemented an Anti-Idling Policy for all CATS vehicles. CATS-owned transit and service vehicles are not permitted to idle for more than 10 minutes at a CATS Operations Facility or while in service (including layover) and not idle for more than 5 minutes in an enclosed area, unless in an extraordinary operating condition. This has proven to be very effective in reducing the fuel consumption by CATS vehicles by as much as 20 percent.
Seattle, Washington has implemented a plan to significantly reduce emissions from diesel trucks, trains and ships: