What is idling?

Idling is running a vehicle’s propulsion engine when the vehicle is not moving. Idling wastes fuel and, in turn, releases harmful pollutants into our atmosphere.

Source: Alternative Fuels Data Center. Link: http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/idle_reduction.html

What is idle reduction?

Idle reduction refers to the technologies and practices that reduce the amount of time vehicles idle their engines. Reducing idle time saves fuel, reduces engine wear, and reduces emissions and noise.

Why is idle reduction important?

Idle reduction is important because idling wastes fuel, pollutes, and threatens health. An idling car can waste up to 0.5 gallons per hour, costing money and fuel. Each gallon of this fuel emits about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. This leads to excess pollutants and ground-level ozone, which can damage lungs.

How can you reduce your idling?

For conventional vehicles, you can reduce your idling by simply turning the key when stopped for more than 10 seconds when not in traffic. As for hybrid and electric vehicles, these have built-in technology that shut off the engine when not in motion.

Virginia Incentives and Laws for Idle Reduction

State Incentives

Idle Reduction Weight Exemption:

Any motor vehicle equipped with an auxiliary power unit or other idle reduction technology may exceed the gross, single axle, tandem axle, or bridge formula weight limits by up to 400 pounds to compensate for the added weight of the idle reduction technology. (Reference Virginia Code 46.2-1129.1)

Laws and Regulations

Idle Reduction Requirement:

Motor vehicles licensed for commercial or public service may not idle for more than three minutes in commercial or residential urban areas, unless the engine is providing auxiliary power for purposes other than heating or air conditioning. Tour buses and diesel vehicles are not permitted to idle for more than 10 minutes. (Reference Virginia Administrative Code 9-5-40-5670(C))

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