Volvo part of new EPA anti-idling program

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America has joined a EPA-funded, SmartWay Transport Partnership program to reduce mobile idling.

The truckmaker has been chosen to participate in a demonstration of mobile idle reduction technology (MIRT) systems for heavy-duty trucks. These systems can reduce the amount of time trucks idle to provide power for cab heating or air conditioning, thus reducing emissions and diesel fuel consumption.

Volvo will partner with the North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in a two-and-a-half-year program.

“The trucking industry is under significant environmental and economic pressure to reduce the amount of time trucks idle,” said Matt Kelly, executive director of marketing for Volvo, in a press release. “Drivers frequently idle to provide power to operate necessary cab comfort systems, such as heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. At the same time, many state or local governments are looking to reduce diesel emissions. And truck fleets are always looking to reduce their fuel costs and engine wear from idling.”

As part of the program, Volvo will engineer a cost-effective installation prep kit for MIRT systems. The goal is to design a prep kit that will be installed by Volvo during assembly of the truck, and will be compatible with a number of different MIRTs. Volvo will also verify the MIRT connection to the truck’s shore power system (electrical power provided through a temporary connection to an electrical main).

“By engineering a factory-installed method that accepts different mobile idle-reduction technologies, Volvo will make it easier and less costly for truck buyers to take advantage of the benefits of these components,” said Kelly. “This program should result in a significant reduction in the amount of labor required to install an aftermarket MIRT, as well as a high level of reliability.”

Volvo has agreed to install the prep kits in at least 20 trucks and to assist NCSU in obtaining data on operator and fleet usage of the MIRTs during the program. Volvo’s proprietary Volvo Link two-way satellite communications system will be used for some of the data acquisition. The company will also recruit customer fleets to participate in the program and encourage those fleets to join EPA’s SmartWay program.

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