Mack showed off its Anthem and the new Idle Free e-APU option at ATA's conference in Nashville. - Photo: Deborah Lockridge

Mack showed off its Anthem and the new Idle Free e-APU option at ATA's conference in Nashville.

Photo: Deborah Lockridge

Mack Trucks will offer a factory-installed electric auxiliary power unit for its 70-inch Mack Anthem sleeper models. The Idle Free Series 5000 eAPU offers increased air-cooling capacity, reduced idling and simplified maintenance, according to the company.

Mack made the announcement during the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition Oct. 25 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The announcement is the latest in Mack’s targeting of the on-highway market with fuel-efficient Anthem highway tractor. “We want to tell people we’re serious about being on-highway,” Stuart Russoli, Mack Trucks highway product manager, told HDT. And “it matches the progression toward electric trucks.”

“Reduced idle time means increased fuel savings and engine life for Mack customers, along with decreased engine maintenance costs,” he said. “The Idle Free eAPU also improves driver comfort because of its high-performing electric cooling capacity, which runs more quietly than diesel-powered APUs and can help drivers have uninterrupted rest time.”

The white condenser unit goes on the back of the cab, while the black evaporator is installed inside the bunk. - Photo: Deborah Lockridge

The white condenser unit goes on the back of the cab, while the black evaporator is installed inside the bunk.

Photo: Deborah Lockridge

The Idle Free eAPU features a 10,000 BTU compressor and three-speed evaporator fan to direct the airflow to the sleeper without duct work, allowing the driver to easily adjust temperature and fan speed from the control panel located on the evaporator in the bunk. Russoli said that at 83 degrees ambient temperature, the Idle Free eAPU can keep the sleeper at 73 degrees for nine hours.

Because it doesn’t have to be plugged into the ductwork or the fuel system, and there’s no diesel engine to maintain, the eAPU is simple and low-maintenance, Russoli said.

The system can be retrofitted with an automatic start-stop kit which allows the truck to automatically idle to recharge the batteries, turning the engine off when they are fully charged. 

Feedback from customers that have had the eAPU installed at the Customer Adaptation Center has been good, Russoli said, and starting next July it’s scheduled to be installed on the factory line at Lehigh Valley Operations, Macungie, Pennsylvania, where all Mack Class 8 vehicles for North America and export are assembled.

The Idle Free eAPU will be available for order in Q2 2022.

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