Trucks serving the Port of Charleston are getting cleaner and greener through a new program that reduces truck emissions while saving companies big bucks on their fuel bill.
Under the public-private project, funded in part by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant received by the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA), truck owners that serve the Port of Charleston are receiving rebates to help cover part of the cost for technologies such as auxiliary power units that reduce truck idling or other equipment that cuts fuel use.
The SCSPA announced the rebate program as part of its “Pledge for Growth” initiative in February. By the application deadline a month later, truck owners from across the state had applied to upgrade hundreds of trucks with the new technology.
“This is a win-win for the environment and for trucks operating out of the Port of Charleston,” said Stan Nutt of G&P Trucking and president of the Charleston Motor Carriers Association (CMCA). “The project’s success shows that the trucking industry is very interested in solutions that have both environmental and financial benefits.”
The SCSPA’s project partners include the CMCA, South Carolina Trucking Association, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the American Lung Association. A committee comprised of project partners evaluated the applications and selected the rebate recipients.
Receiving the rebates are Bulldog Hiway Express, Superior Transportation, B.W. Mitchum, Rich Mountain Transport, Osprey Leasing Corp., T&M Transfer, The Maine Team, McKenzie Trucking as well as nine owner-operators. Work on the rigs will be completed by this fall.
“This positive collaboration between the public and private sectors has made it much more affordable and accessible for truckers to upgrade their equipment,” said John F. Hassell III, interim president & CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority. “The program shows that what’s good for business can also be good for the environment.”
The rebate program covers upgrades in two areas: idle-reduction projects and retrofit projects.
Idle-reduction projects incorporate auxiliary power units (APUs) and other similar devices such as battery air conditioning systems, thermal storage systems and fuel-operated heaters. According to EPA estimations, an average truck with an APU or similar device uses eight percent less fuel each year. Truck owners will receive a rebate to recoup half of the cost to upgrade this equipment.
Truck owners are also receiving rebates to retrofit their trucks with EPA Smart Way approved technologies, such as singlewide tires and aerodynamic kits. Singlewide tires generate an estimated four percent fuel savings and aerodynamic kits provide a five percent reduction. These projects are eligible for a 75% cost rebate to the truck owner.