Idle Reduction Technology Slashes Fuel and Maintenance Costs

Dec 3rd, 2014

Pull Out Fuel, Maintenance and Emission Savings with Idle Reduction Technologies

To most, idling a vehicle seems rather innocuous, but it actually wastes gas, causes excess engine wear and pollutes the air.

Government Fleet recently published a piece, “Do Anti-Idling Technologies Work?.” Spoiler alert: they do.

Derive Efficiency, profiled in the article, offers a technology that reduces the levels an engine idles unnecessarily. North Carolina Department of Transportation used Derive Efficiency software to lower RPM levels and saw a 7% decrease in fuel for their fleet of pick-up trucks. Before diving into how this was achieved, let’s run through an overview on idling.

What is Idling?

Idling is running a vehicle’s engine when the vehicle is not in motion. Engines idle for a variety of reasons: sitting at a red light, warming up or cooling down your car, playing the radio, powering equipment, to name a few. According to the DOE’s Alternative Fuel Data Center, each year, U.S. passenger cars, light trucks, medium-duty trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles consume more than 6 billion gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline—without even moving. By taking an average fuel cost of $3.50 that means $21 billion is wasted in idle mode.

What is the impact of Idling? 

There are many impacts; we’ll highlight three.

1. Increase in Fuel costs

Depending on engine size, one hour of idling can burn up to 1 full gallon of fuel. Idling for 10 minutes uses as much fuel as traveling five miles. Minimizing idling generates real savings.

2. Increase in Maintenance costs

Idling causes incomplete combustion, leading to a build up of residues in an an engine and increasing wear and tear. In fact, idling causes twice the wear on internal parts compared to driving at regular speeds. The American Trucking association estimates that this can shorten the life of the engine and increase maintenance costs by $2,000 per year.

3. Increase in Air Pollution

Every gallon of gas burned produces about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, according to the Energy Information Administration.  If you idle 1 hour every day for a year, the carbon dioxide emitted is equivalent to driving across the country not once, not twice but 2.5 times. You’ll need to plant nearly 3 acres of forest annually to absorb the emissions.

How does Derive Efficiency Work?

Simpe. We update the vehicle’s powertrain with a custom software solution which contains hundreds of precise changes in key areas of a vehicle calibration. The software is easily installed, within 10 minutes, via our exclusive OBDII handheld (onboard diagnostics port), which is located under the steering wheel.

Your stock vehicle is equipped with a setting for idle that caters to a number of variables (mainly noise vibration and harshness and maintenance intervals). Because a fleet vehicle is maintained at a tighter interval, Derive Efficiency reduces this setting from stock successfully up to 30%. The end result, of lowering the idle RPM levels, is fuel and maintenance savings.

Don’t take our word for it, reach out to see how much you can save with Derive Efficiency.