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Vehicle Technologies Office: National Idling Reduction Network News

The National Idling Reduction Network brings together trucking and transit companies; railroads; ports; equipment manufacturers; Federal, state, and local government agencies (including regulators); nonprofit organizations; and national research laboratories to identify consistent, workable solutions to vehicle idling for the entire United States. Below is the most recent issue; the archives are available on the Archives page.


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June 2016 National Idling Reduction Network News: From the Editor

IdleBox 2.0

This month we're delighted to announce the relaunch of IdleBox, an electronic education and outreach toolkit we originally developed for U.S. DOE's Clean Cities program in 2013. The redesigned website makes it easier for a wide range of audiences—from fleet and sustainability managers to civic groups—to learn about and educate others on the benefits of idling reduction. Because IdleBox is modular, it can be used in a variety of ways, including investigating idling reduction options for a specific vehicle type, supporting a one-time sustainability event, and developing a full-fledged, ongoing campaign.

The new IdleBox is organized into two sections: Core Resources and Specialty Resources. Core Resources include general messaging materials (e.g., fact cards, tips sheets, poster templates), customizable letters and pledge forms, and technical resources (e.g., idling calculator and a database of idling regulations). Specialty materials address specific vehicle types, such as personal vehicles, light- and medium-duty fleet vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles, and emergency and other service vehicles. These more in-depth tools include fact sheets, presentations, and technical reports. In short, the new IdleBox is a "one-stop shop" for idling reduction education and outreach.

ComEd, a major electric utility serving northern Illinois, shows us how companies and organizations can use IdleBox. To communicate the value of idling reduction to its employees, ComEd recently adapted IdleBox’s "STOP Idling. START $aving" poster.

idlebox_poster_11x17_270x417.jpg   EDM_EnvIdle_Posters modified_278x417.jpg
Poster template from IdleBox.   ComEd's adaptation of the IdleBox poster. Used with permission of ComEd.

As a reader of this newsletter, you know that minimizing unnecessary idling reduces fuel costs and emissions, but many others do not. Please visit the redesigned IdleBox and see what tools are available to help you and others spread the message. We look forward to hearing what you think, and to developing new tools, such as a Compendium of Idling Reduction Equipment Manufacturers, for IdleBox.


Terry M. Levinson, Editor
Allegheny Science & Technology


Patricia Weikersheimer, Writer
Argonne National Laboratory


Solicitations for Funding and Awards

Program (with link to website) — Organization — Funding Amount — Due Date  (Information new since last month in boldface.)


Deadline in Chronological Order


First Come, First Served


Rolling Deadline Until Funds Are Awarded


Regulatory News

Volkswagen Settlement To Include Clean Air Project Funding

In two related settlements, one with the United States and the State of California, and one with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Volkswagen has agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of deceptive advertising and the installation of "defeat" devices on its vehicles’ emissions systems. Of the $14.7 billion, $2.7 billion will support emissions reduction projects, similar to those funded by EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, over 3 years. Volkswagen will place the funds in a mitigation trust that will be administered by an independent trustee.

Volkswagen’s "defeat" devices, installed on nearly 500,000 model year 2009–2015 2.0-L diesel vehicles sold or leased in the U.S, activate full emissions controls only during emissions testing. During regular driving, the vehicles emit nitrogen oxides (NOx) at levels up to 40 times higher than permitted by federal law. More information about the settlement is available at the EPA website.


San Antonio Passes Idling Ordinance

The City of San Antonio, Texas, has passed an idle reduction ordinance. Beginning on January 1, 2017, vehicles weighing more than 14,000 lb are prohibited from idling for more than 5 minutes. According to Texas Public Radio, penalties may be as high as $500.

The ordinance includes several exemptions, including government-mandated rest periods for long-haul truck drivers. Resting truck drivers, however, must not be parked in a school zone; within 1,000 ft of a public school during its hours of operation; within 1,000 ft of a hospital; or in a residential area as defined by local government code.

Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, passed an idling ordinance in May. More information is available at the City of San Antonio's website and at Texas Public Radio.


Reports and Other Resources of Interest


Upcoming Meetings and Events

Name of meeting [with Link to Website] Date (Location) (Information new since last month in boldface.)


Electrified Parking Spaces

Ambulances and Food Carts: Electrification Projects in NYC

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) recently awarded an 18-month contract to MOVE Systems for the installation of 30 wayside power pedestals for use by New York City Fire Department (FDNY) ambulances. The FDNY stages its ambulances in preselected locations throughout the boroughs where they await dispatch. Ambulances idle to power medical equipment and refrigerate critical onboard supplies.

The power pedestals are being installed in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan. As the fleet turns over, FDNY is purchasing shorepower-capable vehicles. More information is available at CBS New York.

NYSERDA and NYSDOT have also funded MOVE Systems to deploy its power-pedestal technology for food carts in the New York City area. Site selection is underway, with the design and installation of up to 10 electric pedestals in at least three major mobile food-vending locations to begin this summer. To read more, please go to the MOVE Systems website. Source: Joe Tario, NYSERDA


Other News of Interest

NCTCOG Offers New Policy Template

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) now offers a policy template to help area fleets meet the Regional Transportation Council’s (RTC) Clean Fleet Policy obligations. The RTC’s Clean Fleet Policy requires that adopting entities implement an idling reduction policy or standard operating procedure. The new template can be used as is or be modified to suit the needs of a particular fleet. To access the policy template, please go to NCTCOG's Clean Fleet Policy page and scroll down to the Clean Fleet Policy Resources section.


Additional Idling Reduction Resources

Please visit the Vehicle Technologies Office's Idle Reduction webpage for links to more idle reduction resources, including an idling reduction savings calculator (xls calculator and printable pdf calculator), Locations of Electrified Parking Spaces, Status of the Weight Exemption for Idling Reduction Devices, and back issues of National Idling Reduction Network News. Other resources include IdleBox, an electronic, modular toolkit to facilitate idling reduction outreach and implementation, IdleBase, a database of idling regulations for all classes of on-road vehicles, and the Alternative Fuels Data Center idle reduction page.