August 3, 2009 10:45 AM, EDT

House Bill Would Give Tax Credit for APUs

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would provide up to $3,000 in tax credit for fleets to purchase auxiliary power units.

The Idling Reduction Tax Credit Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) Thursday, would provide a tax credit for 50% of the cost of an APU, up to $3,000, Blumenauer said in a statement.

APUs power certain functions of a truck when the truck's engine is not running. Trucks spend six to eight hours a day idling, for up to 300 days a year, Blumenauer said. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) is co-sponsoring the bill.

American Trucking Associations expressed its support for the legislation shortly after it was introduced Thursday.

“The initial capital cost of idle-reducing technologies has been a major barrier to trucking companies,” President Bill Graves said. “This legislation will allow us to move forward with industry-wide efforts to reduce air pollution and fuel consumption related to idling.”

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that APUs reduce idle-related fuel consumption by at least 80%, ATA said.

A day before the APU bill was introduced, the House Committee on Science and Technology approved legislation that would authorize $550 million for the Department of Energy for the production of new advanced technology vehicles.

The Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich) would also expand research and development efforts for fuel efficient commercial truck technologies, Peters said in a statement.