NEW YORK - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a hybrid diesel electric trailer refrigeration unit that is said to slash pollution. The technology allows refrigerated trucks and trailers to remain cold while switching from diesel power to electric power during loading and unloading, reducing diesel emissions to zero. The technology also puts a lid on fuel costs and noise. EPA’s Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg appeared with representatives from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the companies that make the technology to observe a truck delivering goods to a Holland America Lines cruise ship at the New York City Economic Development Corp.’s facility.

“Hybrid diesel electric power demonstrates that businesses can go green while they keep their cool,” said Steinberg. “Refrigeration is an integral part of America’s transportation and delivery system. Thanks to EPA and our partners, businesses now have the power to shrink their environmental footprint while increasing their bottom line.”

Shurepower LLC, Carrier Transicold, Maines Paper & Food Service Inc., New West Technologies, and Great Dane Trailers used money provided by EPA and NYSERDA to help fund the first of its kind demonstration pilot project. The original pilot project, located in a Maines Paper & Food Service distribution facility in Conklin, N.Y., involved setting up and operating electrified loading docks and parking spaces for commercial heavy-duty diesel trucks and refrigerated trailers to power the refrigeration. The project was part of a nationwide effort to reduce pollution from truck fleets known as EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership.

Peter R. Smith, NYSERDA president and CEO, noted that since 2000, New York state has committed $2.55 million in cooperation with EPA and the Department of Energy in pursuing technologies to displace the nation’s petroleum use that goes to transportation. “NYSERDA projects thrive on cooperation among our federal and private partners. Through hybrid-power technology applications, we can make advances to ensure that motor freight, and especially food, is cared for in the most energy-efficient and environmentally responsive way,” he said.

Trailer refrigeration units are the standard for preserving and cooling goods during transport and delivery. The demonstration project featured the eTRU hybrid diesel electric trailer refrigeration unit. eTRU technology enables an electric powered source of energy from a loading dock or parking space to keep the truck’s load or trailer compartments at a specific temperature without having to run the engine. The technology works by installing an electric device on a loading dock or parking space and equipping a diesel truck or refrigerated trailer with special components that connect the diesel engine to the electric power grid. Once plugged in, the diesel engine can be totally shut down, producing zero diesel emissions.

The Carrier Transicold Vector 1800 MT multi-temperature trailer refrigeration system includes unique, hybrid diesel-electric technology that enables shippers to effectively regulate the temperature of multiple compartments within the trailer. It combines a diesel engine with an electrical generator to reduce air pollution and sound levels, eliminate many components and maintenance items, and increase reliability and performance. Shurepower’s electrified truck parking system is a low cost alternative to idling that provides drivers with grid-based electricity. Maines Paper & Food Service was a key partner in developing the project at its distribution center in Conklin, N.Y. New West Technologies assisted Shurepower in the project by providing engineering expertise.

EPA said extended idling has a significant impact upon air quality. On a national scale, extended truck idling generates annually 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 200,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen, and 5,000 tons of particulate matter. Additionally, idling long haul trucks consume over 1 billion gallons of fuel, costing over $2 billion annually.

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a program developed by EPA and the freight industry to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution, and to promote cleaner, more efficient ground freight transportation. The Partnership provides companies with technical assistance, tools for evaluating opportunities, and help locating financing to purchase these technologies.

For more information on the SmartWay Transport Partnership, visit

Publication date:04/23/2007