Free connector kits connect trucks to grid; cut idling

Free electrical plug-in kits available for truck owners and operators.


Truck owners and operators interested in connecting their vehicles to the electric grid and eliminating the need for expensive and wasteful idling now have an even easier and more affordable way to do so – free connector kits.

Shorepower Technologies and Cascade Sierra Solutions are jointly administering a federally funded USDOE Recovery Act program to increase the use of idle reduction technologies and promote the use of electricity for cab comfort in lieu of engine idling. To encourage idle reduction, 1,300 free connector kits, which allow drivers to plug in to power pedestals at truck stops and other locations, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of 25 connector kits per truck operator or fleet.

By using convenient and inexpensive power connections at truck stops instead of idling, drivers can operate in-cab HVAC as well as entertainment and convenience appliances, all without the noise, emissions and cost of idling.

“Connector kits are a great introduction to the benefits of plug-in power,” said Alan Bates, vice president of marketing with Shorepower Technologies. “We believe that as drivers and vehicle owners see how easy it is to use this service, and how quickly they reap financial rewards from it, they’ll make even greater use of it and want to add more anti-idling equipment that plugs in to inexpensive grid power.”

The connector kit consists of an electrical receptacle for mounting on the exterior of the truck cab, a cab interior 120V AC outlet and wiring harness, as well as an on-off switch and a ground fault circuit interrupter.

The connector kits are being provided through the Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP), which is also installing plug-in sites at 50 truck stops around the country and providing rebates on purchase of shore power capable idle reduction equipment.

Once the connector kit is installed, drivers can use a heavy-duty extension cord to connect a power pedestal at a truck-stop parking space to the exterior receptacle. Inside the cab, 120V AC outlets provide convenient places to plug in portable heaters, microwaves, laptop computers and DVD players.

Shorepower Technologies offers plug-in service at $1 an hour – an immediate savings compared to the $4 or more per gallon of diesel fuel needed to idle a heavy duty truck. Cable television is also included where available. Internet service will be available at many locations for an additional charge.

Fleets are allowed to self-install by an ASE certified technician, but independent operators must have the kits installed at an authorized service center. Participants must agree to use Shorepower Technologies’ service at any of its locations within 12 months of installation of the connector kit.

For more information on the program, and a list of locations at which the connector kits are available, go to: www.plugintosavings.org.

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