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Technologies

Idle Reduction

Idle reduction describes practices and technologies that reduce the time drivers idle their engines unnecessarily. Reducing idling time has many benefits, including reductions in fuel costs, engine wear, emissions and noise pollution.

Each year, U.S. passenger cars, light trucks, medium-duty trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles consume more than 6 billion gallons of fuel – without moving.  Roughly half of that fuel is wasted by passenger cars.2 Idling can be reduced without compromising driver comfort or safety. For more information and tools, please visit the Department of Energy's Idle Reduction site for the Idlebox 2.0 Toolkit. 

Idle Box

1. Gonder, Jeffrey; Matthew Earleywine; and Witt Sparks. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Final Report on the Fuel Saving Effectiveness of Various Driver feedback Approaches.” http://www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/vsa/pdfs/50836.pdf. March 2011.

Links for further reading: 

Electric power stands for truckers part of Upstate clean air effort

Idling: Cruising the Fuel Inefficiency Expressway

How to Cut Idling Costs, Humanely

Vehicle Technologies Office: Idle Reduction

Fuel Economy/Hybrids

Drivers can improve the efficiency of their vehicles, conserve fuel, save money and reduce emission through simple changes in driving behaviors. Research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that improving driving behaviors can reduce vehicle fuel use by 10%. Savings can be up to 20% for aggressive drivers.2

A couple of simple driving strategies:

  • Slow Down
  • Drive Conservatively
  • Reduce your Load
  • Maintain your Vehicle
  • Get Feedback

In addition to these behavior changes, you can also look into purchasing a more fuel efficient vehicle, such as a hybrid or new vehicle that gets better miles per gallon than some older models.  

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