Volvo Trucks North America

Idle Free electric APU now available at Volvo factory

The Idle Free Systems, Inc. electric APU is now available on all new Volvo sleeper trucks through the Volvo New Vehicle Option Center. 

Volvo Trucks offers the Idle Free system at the NVOC in order to provide the customer with the highest overall quality at the lowest cost for an electric APU.

Making the Idle Free electric APU a factory option helps dealers spec trucks more effectively. By spec'ing the Idle Free system as part of the new truck order, redundant components can be eliminated and overall cost reduced, while adding the value of a complete electric APU system.

The Idle Free electric APU system is the most complete idle-elimination system on the market today. It is the only electric APU on the market capable of meeting heat, air conditioning, and hotel needs without relying on the truck's starter batteries, thereby eliminating the risk of the truck not starting. The Idle Free system is also an EPA SmartWay verified technology and California Air Resources Board (CARB) compliant.

The new partnership between Volvo Trucks and Idle Free Systems saves both time and expense for the customer. Customers can purchase the Idle Free electric APU system directly from any Volvo dealer and it can be seamlessly integrated into the delivery of the truck.

Robert Hopton, CEO of Idle Free Systems points out that spec'ing the truck with the Idle Free electric APU in mind allows the customer to eliminate additional parts rendered unnecessary by the Idle Free system.

"One of the significant advantages to this ability to spec the truck with the Idle Free electric APU is that the customer can then eliminate parts that the APU makes obsolete," says Hopton. "For example, a truck being spec'ed with the Idle Free system doesn't need a bunk air heater, an electric block heater or a factory inverter. Those needs are already accounted for in the Idle Free electric APU."

In order to help the dealer better understand how to spec a new truck with the Idle Free electric APU, Volvo Trucks has created a "prep kit" check list that details which components are needed and not needed on the truck when choosing to install the Idle Free electric APU. The prep kit helps eliminate redundancies on the truck, enabling the customer to get the maximum return on their investment.

The Idle Free electric APU is unique for many reasons, but one of the most significant is that it runs on alternating current. Electric APUs that run on direct current suffer from lower efficiency, which translate to shorter APU battery life, less run time and, most problematic, the risk that the APU could jeopardize the truck's ability to start. DC-based systems, due to their higher amperage draw for the air conditioner, rely on the truck's starter batteries as an additional power source to run the APU. With those types of systems, you risk draining the truck's starter batteries and therefore not being able to start the truck.

Idle Free's AC-based electric APU, on the other hand, is a more efficient system, resulting in longer APU battery life and completely eliminating any need to use the truck's starter batteries to power the APU. The AC-based system means the truck's batteries will never be drained by the APU. To have an Idle Free APU installed on a new Volvo sleeper truck, Volvo dealers should follow an easy three step process:

  1. Contact the Volvo New Vehicle Option Center in Dublin, Virginia ( 540-674-2081)

  2. Review and complete the prep kit

  3. Finalize truck specs with customer

For questions, Volvo dealers can call contact Hakim Luqmaan, manager of the New Vehicle Option Center at 540-674-2081 or

In addition to now being available through the New Vehicle Option Center, the Idle Free electric APU continues to be available direct to Volvo dealers for installation on any truck, new or in use at their dealer location.