to allow resting long-haul truck drivers to plug in to electricity to run their onboard amenities, while cutting down on engine idling.
"We believe that even a local, family-owned truckstop can take the initiative to make a difference in this world," said Wendi Powell, manager of Big Boys Truck Stop. "We hope that others will also seek out green technology opportunities that protect the environment while advancing economic development in our state."
The demonstration featured several participating companies, including North Carolina-based Volvo Trucks North America; Shorepower Technologies, Rome, N.Y., which makes and installs truckstop electrification systems; Progress Energy, Raleigh, N.C., an electric utility company serving the Southeast U.S.; and Advanced Energy, a Raleigh-based non-profit organization.
Each Shorepower pedestal provides electrical connections for four trucks. A truck driver pulls in and attaches an all-weather electrical cord between the pedestal and his truck, and electricity is then available for use inside the cab. The cost of using one hour of electricity from the Shorepower stations is $1 per hour plus a $1 setup fee.
Volvo began offering trucks capable of tapping shore power in 1996, and currently has about 40 percent of its trucks equipped for shore power. However, only 139 truckstops out of about 2,700 in the U.S. and Canada have shore power capability, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
"We pioneered the availability of shore power technology in heavy-duty trucks because we know how important it is to reduce truck idling," said Frank Bio, product manager for trucks at Volvo.