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Anti-Idling Tech Saves Ottawa Police 465 Gallons of Fuel Annually per Car

In separate moves to reduce carbon emissions in Canada, the Ottawa Police Service is installing anti-idling technology on its vehicles while Toronto’s Board of Health votes to limit the maximum time motorists can idle their motors to one minute.

By installing anti-idling technology on its vehicles, the Ottawa Police Service expects to save 1,764 liters (465 gallons) of fuel a year per car, which is enough to drive across Canada four times, reports Ottawa Citizen.

The technology — which includes auxiliary batteries to run electronics, a small combustion motor to provide heat, automatic vehicle start-up and shut-off and idling monitoring and recording equipment — was installed in two patrol cars in 2009, according to the article.

Test results showed that idling decreased by more than 10 percent and carbon emissions dropped by 4,235 kilograms.

The anti-idling equipment including installation costs around $2,000 per car, which means it will take about 18 months to pay for itself on each car, reports Ottawa Citizen.

In the U.S., a new power management system, launched last year, which allows police cruisers to have full electrical capability without running the engine, could save more than $3,000 a year per vehicle.

In Toronto, the city’s Board of Health has voted to reduce the maximum time motorists can idle their motors from three minutes to one minute without risking a $125 fine, reports the Toronto Star.

Approval of the no-idling limit now heads to the city council for approval. If approved, the city will ask the province to amend legislation to step-up, according to the article.

The newspaper also reports that the health board recommended eliminating the exemption for idling on very cold or very hot days, and replacing a clause that allows TTC (transit) vehicles to idle for up to 15 minutes with one that says transit vehicles can only run while stopped for “an identified need.”

In response, TTC says anti-pollution devices on its diesel buses require that the engine run for two or three minutes after the vehicle stops, and in extreme cold, TTC periodically turns garaged buses on and off to ensure they’ll start, reports the newspaper.

A report (PDF) from Toronto’s medical officer of health finds that idling wastes 90 million liters (23,775,484 gallons) of fuel per year and emits 215 million tons of carbon dioxide, almost half of it in Toronto. The emissions also contribute to 1,700 hospitalizations in Toronto each year and 440 deaths.

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