Idle Reduction

Idle reduction describes technologies and practices that reduce the amount of time an engine idles unnecessarily. Reducing idling time has many benefits, including reductions in fuel costs, engine wear, emissions, and noise.

In Maine, all commercial motor vehicles and gasoline-powered motor vehicles, except private passenger vehicles must follow Maine Revised Statutes Title 38 (Section 585-L).

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Engines idle for a variety of reasons, such as to keep vehicles warm, operate emergency lighting or radios, or power off-board equipment. Each year, U.S. passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles consume more than 6 billion gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline—without even moving. Roughly half of that fuel is wasted by passenger vehicles.

Idling can usually be reduced without compromising driver comfort or vehicle equipment operations. Learn about:

Idle Reduction Benefits and Considerations

indexReducing the idling time of vehicles saves fuel and money, protects public health and the environment, and increases U.S. energy security. Reducing idle time can also reduce engine wear and associated maintenance costs. Idling is also illegal in many jurisdictions. Learn more

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Idle Reduction Savings Calculator

This worksheet can help fleet managers and vehicle owners calculate potential savings from reducing their vehicle idling time. It is provided in both Microsoft Excel and PDF formats. Based on current research engine idle wastes anywhere from about a quarter to more than one gallon of fuel per hour, depending on vehicle type and engine size. Learn more

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Idle Reduction Publications

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Aternative Fuel Data Center provides technical assistance to fleets idle-reduction measures. Clean Cities database is a valuable source of information for fleet managers who are interested in idle reduction policies. Learn more

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Idle Reduction Case Studies

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) AFDC database is a valuable source of information for fleet managers who are interested in idle reduction case studies from across the nation. Learn more

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IdleBox Project

idlebxIdleBox is an electronic education and outreach toolkit on vehicle idling reduction. The low-hanging fruit of fuel economy, idling reduction is a simple way to use less fuel and to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases. Learn more