The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) urged state governments in the United States and provincial governments in Canada to revise their fuel tax systems to encourage truckers to use environmentally friendly idling reduction technology.
In a joint statement, David Bradley, CTA chief executive officer, and Bill Graves, CEO and president of ATA, asked International Fuel Tax Association Inc (IFTA) member jurisdictions to stop taxing fuel used to operate idling reduction technology, mainly the auxiliary power unit (APU) that reduces diesel fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by large truck engines. The International Fuel Tax Agreement is the organization of states and provinces through which motor carriers' fuel use tax obligations are administered uniformly throughout North America.
The primary reason for large truck engine idling is to heat or cool the cab for long-haul drivers during periods of rest. However, several studies have clearly shown that using a heavy-duty truck engine to power the heating and cooling of a truck cab is inefficient and environmentally unsound.
The cost of an APU varies with the type of device, anywhere from US $6,000 to a top price of perhaps US $10,000, with an average of about US $7,750. Likewise, the fuel consumption of an APU will vary, but may be estimated for an over-the-road operation at 500 gallons or 1,900 liters a year. At the average state fuel tax rate of about 22 cents per gallon and provincial rate of 15 cents a liter, an exemption would represent a tax savings of more than US $100 US a year or Canadian $280.