Creating an electrified truck stop could reduce idling

The Golden and District Air Quality Committee and Wildsight are in the early stages of conducting a feasibility study looking into the possibility of an electric charging station for transport trucks.

An electrified truck stop would limit the amount of idling drivers conduct while running cooling and heating systems, as well as additional amenities like TV and lights inside their cabs while they are stopped in Golden.

In partnership with Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), the two groups were looking to secure a nominal amount of funding from the Town of Golden in support of the feasibility study. Originally, they had requested $500, but CBT wanted to see more funding in the game, and asked for an additional $500, which town council did not support.

“We’re just at the grant proposal for the feasibility study phase,” said Annette Luttermann, Wildsight Golden regional board secretary and Air Quality Committee member.

Luttermann presented to town council in February, asking council members for the first $500, and the additional funds were recently requested. The initiative began at the CBT climate action meeting last year as an idea, which CBT was interested in pursuing.

“There were a lot of other ideas that were proposed, and CBT came back to me and said ‘this is an idea we really like,’” Luttermann said. “What it is, is the ability for trucks to be able to pull into a truck stop and plug in their vehicle so they can run their television, their air cooling or heating systems, without running their diesel engines all night. Especially when we have road closures, it’s a really big issue. You can smell the diesel heavy in the air, and it’s stinky.”

According to Luttermann, these types of electrified truck stops are popular in the U.S., and provide external power for the trucks.

CBT requested that Luttermann create a proposal for the project, and on behalf of Wildsight and the Air Quality Committee, she agreed. The more she looked into it, the more she began to realize a feasibility study should be conducted first. There is a lot of background work that needs to be done before a proposal can be started, and Luttermann has found the help of an electrician in town who also has a degree in sustainable energy.

“I’m just helping to kind of get it going,” she said. “The Federal Government is the next step because it is on the Trans-Canada Highway, and this could be seen as a pilot project.”

Especially in mountain valley towns, the air quality can be greatly affected by emissions and woodstove smoke. Part of the feasibility study, she said, would be connecting with local businesses on the highway to see if they are interested, and find out what kind of space would work.

“A big part would also be a public education campaign to continue to try to encourage people to stop idling their vehicles,” Luttermann said.