News/Events News Releases

2007

Mack Anti-Idling Feature Saves Fuel, Reduces Emissions, and Increases Driver Comfort
Battery-Based System Can Run AC for 10 Hours at 90F

LEHIGH VALLEY, PA (May 24, 2007) - Truck operators no longer need to idle their truck engine to run their televisions and microwaves, or to heat and air condition their sleepers, thanks to the Idle Free Hybrid System, now available as an option from Mack Trucks, Inc. This non-polluting anti-idling system utilizes battery power to provide reliable electrical power and to save fuel. Mack is the first truck manufacturer to offer the Idle Free Hybrid System.

"The smart operator wants to avoid idling these days," said Jerry Warmkessel, Mack marketing product manager, highway products. "The price of fuel is near record levels, many local and state environmental regulations strictly limit the amount of time trucks may idle, and fleets now recognize the increased maintenance costs of excessive idling."

The environmental and financial benefits of reducing idling are huge. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates heavy-duty truck idling in the U.S. consumes 960 million gallons of diesel fuel annually, at a current cost of around $2.80 per gallon, and the average heavy-duty truck burns 0.8 gallons per hour. According to EPA, truck idling results in annual emissions of 11 million tons of CO2, 180,000 tons of NOx and 5,000 tons of particulates (note: new emissions regulations cut emissions of NOx by 50% and particulates by 90% on heavy-duty diesel engines built after January 1, 2007).

At the same time, Mack understands drivers need a comfortable environment during non-driving hours and that they want the freedom to use electric devices while off-duty.

The system uses a bank of high-efficiency absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries to provide stored electrical power for heating, air conditioning and amenities, such as TV or microwave. The sealed AGM batteries are known for their durable, long-life operation, and can be safely housed inside the truck. The bank of five AGM batteries is stored under the sleeper's bunk.

The batteries can be recharged three different ways: by the truck's alternator when the engine is running; through a shore power connection when the vehicle is stopped; or through an available connection to the reefer unit for tractors hauling refrigerated trailers. When the truck is not moving, the driver can use battery power or shore power to run heating, air conditioning and amenities. The system provides either 12- or 120-volt power.

Idle Free uses a Xantrex Prosine 2000W inverter/charger to control and regulate electrical power, as well as to charge both the Idle Free batteries and the truck's batteries. Mack's complete climate control package includes a Webasto diesel-fired heater and a Dometic HVAC unit. The Odyssey AGM 31 batteries have the ability to run the AC for 10 hours with an outside air temperature of 90 degrees.

According to Warmkessel, Idle Free has advantages over traditional auxiliary power units. The total weight of the system, with five batteries, inverter, HVAC and controls is 370 pounds, which is less than many APUs. It is also quiet, does not consume fuel, requires no maintenance, and is not subject to local idling restrictions.

Dedicated to quality, reliability, and total customer satisfaction, Mack Trucks, Inc. has provided its customers with innovative transportation solutions for more than a century. Today, Mack is one of North America's largest producers of heavy-duty trucks, and MACK® vehicles are sold and serviced in more than 45 countries worldwide. All Mack manufacturing locations are certified to the internationally recognized ISO 9001 standard for quality and ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems. Mack is also a proud sponsor of Share the Road, an American Trucking Associations' public information campaign aimed at enhancing the safety of our nation's roadways.

Mack is a member of the Volvo Group, a publicly held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. With annual sales of approximately $34 billion, Volvo business areas include heavy trucks, buses, construction equipment, marine and industrial drive systems, aerospace, and financial services. In the United States, Volvo shares are listed on NASDAQ and are traded as ADRs (symbol: VOLV).