Webasto? The BlueCool people? They introduced an interesting hybrid in Louisville in March – bringing shore power to their BlueCool Thermal Storage APU. Webasto introduced the original BlueCool APU in 2006 as an alternative to diesel-powered APUs. It produces cool air using thermal energy stored in a frozen graphite/water matrix – like a giant ice cube. Then fans circulate the air.
With IdleAire extinct (for now at least) this hybrid is a timely product. It provides long-duration cooling and hotel-load capabilities of a diesel-powered APU without engine idling, diesel particulate filters, or dedicated deep-cycle batteries.
At MATS, Land Line Now Senior Correspondent Terry Scruton and I had a chance to talk to John Thomas, general manager of Webasto’s Commercial Vehicle Division. That’s John and Terry in the above photo.
John is our kind of guy. His company doesn't just make a much-needed product; they believe lawmakers need to give truckers a break on buying and using this technology. When he says he spends time on in DC and in statehouses across the country educating lawmakers on the in-cab needs of professional truckers – he isn’t just talking the talk. He's been out there wearing out some shoe leather.
Webasto products are eligible for the federal excise tax exemption under the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership. And they were among the first idle-reduction devices to get OKed for CARB's ULEV II (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) idling emission-reduction requirements.