Auto-start technology takes battery charging duties under its wing

by Truck West

DENTON, Texas – Peterbilt’s has enhanced its SmartAir no-idle system with auto-start technology, which uses the air-conditioning system and electric-powered devices to keep main and auxiliary batteries charged.

“SmartAir is a popular feature which allows customers to reduce fuel costs, comply with no-idle regulations and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Scott Newhouse, Peterbilt’s chief engineer. “It’s lightweight, compact and provides outstanding climate control in even the harshest conditions. The new auto-start technology complements the SmartAir system by helping ensure customers have the necessary power when they need it.”

Newhouse said auto-start monitors the charge levels of the main and auxiliary batteries while the vehicle is off, and, when a charge is required, the system automatically starts the truck to bring the batteries up to a sufficient level. Prior to starting the engine, the system also performs several safety checks, in addition to interlocks to ensure it does not start unexpectedly.

The auto-start technology is available factory installed in Peterbilt’s Model 579s equipped with SmartAir and either a 72- or 80-inch sleeper. SmartAir, which can operate for up to 10 hours on a single charge, is fully integrated with the truck’s electrical and its existing HVAC systems.

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