IdleAir breathing new life into truckstop electrification

Relaunched firm details progress gowing its business

LOUISVILLE, KY. Officials of IdleAir, which provides truckers with electricity, HVAC and TV and Internet services via hookups at truckstop parking spaces, reported on the company’s progress since it was re-launched by new ownership in August, 2010, during a news conference here on Friday at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

According to the company, IdleAir offers a “zero upfront cost solution to help fleets reduce idling costs by 50%, improve mpg by at least 10%, and extend engine life by more than 20%.”

“We currently operate 27 locations in 12 states, having added 7 locations and 3 states since last year,” said Ethan Garber, CEO of the Knoxville, TN-based company. “We are grateful for the partnership of our travel center hosts, including Pilot Flying J, Love’s, and Sapp Brothers, as well as several TA franchisees and independent travel centers. We now have nearly 2,000 installed parking spaces and plans for the addition of more than 10 travel centers on major trucking corridors throughout 2012.”

He said planned expansion for 2012 includes more IdleAir capacity in Houston, Dallas, Denver, California, Ohio, Louisiana, Virginia and Pennsylvania. “Our business plan calls for establishing 100 high-impact locations by early 2014 in order to fill in corridors that drivers need and to establish the ubiquity of a national network that fleets want,” Garber pointed out.

While 2,000 parking spaces are up and running with IdleAir’s specialized electrical hookups, Garber noted that the firm has 6,000 hookup units (assets attained from the former ownership) in storage for use at future sites.

“Since starting with just a handful of locations in August 2010, IdleAir has signed up over 20,000 active users– and we are adding over 1,000 new users every month,” said Garber. “We have provided nearly 1-million hours of service with several of our Texas locations consistently operating close to 100% utilization. Recent momentum has continued with locations open at least 12 months still showing 100% same-store usage growth. We are in the midst of enhancing our WiFi and Ethernet capabilities, recently relabeling our service IdleAir Broadband in select locations.”

Garber said that “corporate streamlining” has allowed the new firm to keep prices low and stable with a retail rate of $1.99/hour for the first ten hours of every stay and an extended “Home Away from Home” rate of $1.25/hour for any continuous stay beyond ten hours. “This means that drivers can stay multiple days for $30/night and they can complete 34 hour resets for less than $50, all this while saving fuel, engine wear and tear and keeping their batteries charged, whether they are straight batteries or a battery-operated APU.”

He also pointed out that IdleAir currently has an “alliance of 375 direct fleet partners,” which are realizing savings on fuel, maintenance and improved driver retention. “Owner-Operators remain our core customer segment and we strive to bring them value and exceptional customer service including the coming introduction of our first-ever loyalty rewards program, VIP Rewards.

Garber noted that the two newest IdleAir sites are in Eastern Arizona along I-10; one is adjacent to Love’s #460 in Benson and the other is at Sunmart #605 in San Simon. Both these sites are providing limited service for free through the end of March and will then have “Grand Opening” $1.25/hour pricing for the month of April.

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