Truckstop electrification continues to expand, with four more sites in the Mid-South and central United States now added to the growing national network of places at which drivers can plug in to reduce idling and save money.
The latest sites are:
- Southern Pride Truck Plaza at Exit 16 on I-24 at Paducah, Ky.
- Big Easy Travel Plaza at Exit 239 on I-10 in New Orleans.
- The Tennessean Truck Stop at Exit 22 on I-65 in Cornersville, Tenn.
- The I-40 Travel Center at Exit 35 on I-40 in Ozark, Ark.
Each of the four sites has 24 truck parking spaces at which drivers can plug their vehicles into electrical connections, allowing them to operate heating, air conditioning and cab appliances without running the engine during their mandatory 10-hour rest periods.
The four truckstops are the latest among 50 along major freight corridors that are receiving plug-in-power installations through the federally funded Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP), administered jointly by Shorepower Technologies and Cascade Sierra Solutions.
"As the trucking industry becomes more familiar with the benefits and ease of use of plug-in power, drivers and fleets are going to be asking for this service," said Bob Arnold, president of Max Arnold & Sons LLC, owner and operator of Southern Pride Truck Plaza. "We want to be ready to provide the latest technology to help our customers do their jobs and save money. Our goal is to achieve customer satisfaction through excellence in products and services. Adding plug-in power is one more way of fulfilling that mission."
"We are in the midst of building a national network of plug-in locations at which truckers can count on saving money and get a sound, healthful night's rest," added Jeff Kim, president and chief executive officer of Shorepower Technologies. "Adding these four new truckstops, along major freight routes, is another important step in achieving that goal."
To see the network of Shorepower sites, visit www.plugintosavings.org.
Plug-in power provides benefits to drivers, fleet owners, truckstop operators and communities. Idling a truck consumes about a gallon of fuel an hour. With diesel fuel at $3.50 a gallon or more, idling can easily cost $35 per stop. Plug-in power, by contrast, is only $1 an hour, and helps reduce our nation's consumption of imported oil.
Shorepower Technologies now operates about 20 plug-in sites; the 50 truckstops to be added under the STEP program are to be in operation by the end of 2012.
As part of the STEP program, equipment-purchase incentives are being made available through Cascade Sierra Solutions to about 5,000 vehicle owners who commit to using the hook-ups to reduce engine idling. So far, the rebate portion of the STEP project has resulted in 20 equipment manufacturers benefitting through more than $7 million in rebates leveraging over $35 million in product sales.
Rebates are still available for approved battery operated HVAC systems, which were allocated the largest number of rebates. The list of eligible systems can be found at Cascade Sierra Solutions' website. Free connector kits are also available for fleets and independent vehicle owners. Details on the program can be found at www.cascadesierrasolutions.org.
Plug-in pedestals provide access to 120 VAC, 208 VAC or 240 VAC power sources, at a rate of $1 per hour, with cable TV available at some locations and wireless Internet for an additional charge. Half of the 50 STEP sites will also offer 480 VAC power for refrigerated trailer units with electric standby capabilities.
Access and payment can be handled with a credit card, gift card, smartphone, laptop or toll-free customer service hotline.