Idle reduction technologies for both heating and cooling provide ideal
solutions to Canadian anti-idle regulations
TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ -- Webasto announced a series of initiatives
specifically aimed at the Canadian Commercial Vehicle Market coinciding with
the opening of Truck World 2008, taking place at the International Centre,
Webasto - a leader in the design and development of idle reduction
technologies for the last 60 years - displayed a Class 8 truck fitted with the
latest heating and cooling solutions that enable truck operators to remain
comfortable in all ambient conditions without idling the truck's engine. The
company also showed its full range of engine-off technologies in a striking
display emphasizing the breadth and depth of Webasto solutions available for
cab air heating, engine coolant heating and in-cab cooling.
"Truck World 2008 is an ideal venue at which to reaffirm our commitment
to the Canadian heavy truck market and to solutions we can offer to address
the country's widespread concern about the adverse effects of unnecessary
vehicular idling," said John Thomas, Webasto Vice President of Marketing.
Webasto Product North America (WPNA). "We are in the process of recruiting a
senior executive to the new post of Business Development Manager, Canadian
Operations, who will spearhead a renewed focus on Canada, on our customers
here and on growing our sales and service network.
"As the industry leader providing idle reduction technologies that in
many cases surpass the regulatory requirements, there is significant
opportunity not only to grow our business in Canada but also to answer the
needs of truck operators across the country who are required to use their
vehicles in ever more restricted ways."
Webasto has also launched a viral video on YouTube that uses humor and
striking graphics to draw attention and awareness to the issue of truck idling
(www.youtube.com/makealeap). The star of the video is a green frog, chosen as
a metaphor for environmental well-being: in nature the health of frog
populations is a direct reflection of the cleanliness of their environment.
The video was originally produced to support the US www.makealeap.org (LEaP)
website, which seeks to collect and clearly display US idle reduction
information and educational resources in one centralized location. The LEaP
acronym stands for Lowering Emissions and Particulates and the website has
received wide praise as an educational and informational single point-of-
reference database. Because of the overwhelmingly positive response to the
website and as part of its renewed effort in the Canadian market, Webasto will
be updating www.makealeap.org to include Canadian data.
"For more than 60 years Webasto has been committed to the pursuit of
developing and providing engine-off comfort and environmental solutions to the
global transportation industry," Thomas stated. "One area where Webasto's
products have been ahead of technology trends is in environmental
consideration and consciousness, so this video and website is a logical
initiative for us to lead. And this is not a commercial website: within the
reference for environmental products, for instance, it lists all of our
business competitors alongside Webasto. Idle reduction and environmental
issues are a challenge for all to tackle together."
The centerpiece of Webasto's Truck World exhibit is a Freightliner
Century Class with bright red (for heat) and blue (for cool) graphics
captioned "Engine-Off Bunk Heating and Cooling". Show attendees can climb
inside the truck's cab and experience the working BlueCool Truck system, which
has a cold storage unit that is charged (frozen) during the day while the
truck is running. At night, the innovative patent-pending BlueCool Truck
system provides a source of cold, dehumidified air to the bunk area with no
further use of the vehicle's air-conditioning system and without running the
engine. It utilizes only small amounts of electricity from the existing
vehicle batteries to circulate super-chilled coolant between Webasto's cold
storage unit and heat exchanger installed in the truck sleeper cabin. Pushed
by four small, exceptionally quiet air distribution fans, the cold air will
keep the bunk area cool for eight to 10 hours in most ambient conditions.
Also fitted to the Webasto demonstration truck is a Webasto Air Top 2000
ST, a forced-air heater that uses diesel fuel from a vehicle's tank to warm
the cab's interior. It uses 1/20th of a gallon of fuel per hour, much less
than an idling engine's one gallon per hour while emitting far fewer
emissions. With an output of 7,000 Btu/h, this compact heater provides
instant, quiet and safe overnight heating.
Lastly, the truck has a Webasto TSL 17 engine preheater, which reduces
engine wear while ensuring starting capability. This device, mounted in-line
with a vehicle's engine cooling system, has a heat output of 17,200 Btu/h. It
benefits from compact size for easy frame or under-hood mounting. It will
preheat an engine's coolant by consuming fuel from the vehicle's tank and uses
about 1/8th of a gallon of fuel per hour.
"All of these solutions meet the truck operators desire for a comfortable
in-cab environment while meeting society's desire to minimize pollution,"
remarked Thomas. "Yet they do so while actually saving truck owners and
operators huge amounts of money because of the elimination of wasteful and
expensive idling for both fleets and owner-operators.
"It's truly a win-win situation. Or, as we like to say, green-green,"
said Thomas, referring to green (environment) and green (money).
Headquartered in Stockdorf near Munich (Germany), Webasto AG was founded
in 1901 and has remained a family-owned business to this day. In its business
groups Convertible, Roof & Body (CRB) and Global Comfort Solutions (GCS) the
company employs a workforce of more than 6,200 at 56 locations around the
globe. With annual sales totaling around $2.5 billion (fiscal 2006), the
company is among the 100 largest suppliers to the automotive industry
worldwide. Its core competencies cover the development and production of
complete convertible, roof and body systems, as well as heating, cooling and
ventilation systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Webasto
Product North America, Inc., based in Fenton, Mich., is a subsidiary of
Webasto AG. For additional information go to www.webasto.us or call (800)
For further information: John Thomas, (248) 343-0616 (mobile), or Rex
Greenslade, (248) 346-6242 (mobile), both for Webasto Product North America,
Inc., Web Site: http://www.webasto.us