SmartWay Technology Program
Federal Excise Tax Exemption
In the Energy Improvement and Extension Act (EIEA) of 2008 (PL 110-343), Section 206 excludes certain idling reduction devices and advanced insulation from the federal excise tax. This law amends section 4053 of the Internal Revenue Code.
For purposes of section 4053(9)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code, the Administrator of EPA, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Transportation, has determined that the devices (listed below under the FAQs) reduce the idling of a tractor at a motor vehicle rest stop or other location where such vehicles are temporarily parked or remain stationary. For the purposes of EIEA, the effective date of this list is the first day after the enactment of EIEA (October 4, 2008). Companies interested in adding their technology to this list should contact EPA after reviewing the criteria for product eligibility below.
Motor carriers must ensure that all devices installed on Commercial Motor Vehicles conform to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, 49 CFR 393, Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation. Those regulations of particular concern to users of auxiliary power units are contained in section 393.28, section 393.30, and SubPart E of Part 393. These requirements dictate the specifications of installation of wiring and fuel systems for this equipment.
For more information about the tax exempt status of these idling reduction devices, please refer to the instructions for Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, found at www.irs.gov. You may also contact Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Treasury at (202) 622-3130.
Federal Excise Tax Exemption FAQs
Click on the questions below to see detailed answers.
"You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more."
- When did some idling reduction devices become exempt from the federal excise tax?
On October 3, 2008, the President signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343). This law also enacted the Energy Improvement and Extension Act (EIEA) of 2008. Specifically, section 206 of the EIEA excludes some idling reduction devices and advanced insulation from the federal excise tax.
- Does the excise tax exemption apply to idling reduction devices installed on all vehicles?
No. The exemption is only available for idling reduction devices installed on tractors. A tractor is a highway vehicle designed to tow a vehicle, such as a trailer or semi-trailer (aka an 18-wheeler). A tractor may carry incidental items of cargo when towing or limited amounts of cargo when not towing. (Reference: IRS Publication 510)
- Does the consumer directly benefit from the federal excise tax exemption for idling reduction devices?
The truck excise tax, which is nominally 12% of the sales price, is triggered by an event such as the first sale or use of a taxable vehicle. The tax is destined for the Federal Highway Trust Fund and can be paid by the truck retailer or purchaser, but is generally collected and remitted by the seller. Since the tax is generally paid by the purchaser or lessor in conjunction with the sale or lease, the exemption for idling reduction devices serves to incentivize purchasers to order such devices in conjunction with the purchase or lease of a new taxable truck or tractor.
- Where can I find information about federal excise taxes and how they work?
IRS Publication 510 offers a comprehensive explanation of federal excise taxes. Chapter 6 of Publication 510 offers information about the retail tax on heavy trucks, trailers, and tractors. Publication 510 is available on the IRS website. For more information regarding the tax exempt status of idling reduction devices, please read the instructions for Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return.
- Who can I contact with tax questions about the excise tax exemption for idling reduction devices?
Contact the IRS Department of Treasury with any tax questions about idling reduction devices. They can be reached at (202) 622-3130.
- Where can I find information about idling reduction?
Each year in the United States, the trucking industry consumes over one billion gallons of diesel fuel and emits over 11 million tons of CO2 and 200,000 tons of NOx while trucks are at idle. For more information about the benefits of idling reduction, please visit our strategies page.
- What is EPA's role in this federal excise tax exemption?
EPA, in consultation with the Departments of Energy and Transportation, identifies all eligible devices that reduce tractor idling. EPA publishes the list of approved idling reduction devices that are exempt from the federal excise tax.
- Where can I find the list of EPA approved idling reduction devices?
The complete list of EPA approved idling reduction devices can be found on the Eligible Products list.
- How does EPA approve idling reduction devices?
EPA evaluates idling reduction technologies by conducting emissions testing and engineering analyses to determine if a device should be approved as a verified technology. EPA also uses information gathered from EPA-funded grant projects, cooperative agreements, demonstration projects and external peer-reviewed reports to inform their decision.
- If I'm a technology vendor, how do I add my product to EPA's approved technology list?
Vendors should contact Victor McMahan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-343-9259 for more information.
- Criteria for Federal Excise Tax Exemption
An idle reduction technology is defined a technology or device that:
- is affixed to a tractor;
- is designed to provide services (such as heat, air conditioning, and/or electricity) to the vehicle or equipment that would otherwise require the operation of the main drive engine while the vehicle or equipment is temporarily parked or remains stationary; and
- reduces unnecessary idling of the vehicle or equipment.
EPA and the Department of Energy have evaluated idle reduction technologies and devices as part of grants, cooperative agreements, emissions testing, engineering analyses, modeling, demonstration projects and external peer reviewed reports to study the effects of idling on air quality, fuel consumption and driver health.
Based on this evaluation and research, EPA has determined that a variety of idle reduction technologies save fuel and reduce emissions when compared to idling the main engine. Qualified devices are added to EPA's list of verified idling control technologies; in the future, additional technologies and devices can be added to this list.
Motor carriers must ensure that all devices installed on Commercial Motor Vehicles conform to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, 49 CFR 393, Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation. Those regulations of particular concern to users of auxiliary power units are contained in Section 393.28, Section 393.30, and SubPart E of Part 393. These requirements dictate the specifications of installation of wiring and fuel systems for this equipment.
Manufacturers should contact Anthony Erb at email@example.com or 202-343-9259 for more information.
The devices listed on the exempted technology list (see "Eligible Products for the Federal Excise Tax Exemption" below) save fuel and reduce emissions when compared to idling the main engine.
- Eligible Products for the Federal Excise Tax Exemption
These idling reduction technologies are organized by the technology type and listed by company/model:
- Fuel Operated Heaters
- Battery Air Conditioning/Heating Systems
- Auxiliary Power Units/Generator Sets
- Thermal Storage Systems
- Shore Connection Systems
- Automotive Climate Control (ACC) / Fuel Fired Heater (air-to-air) FFHD 2
- Espar / D1LC
- Espar / D3LC
- Espar / Airtronic D2
- Espar / Airtronic D4
- Espar / Hydronic 5
- Espar / Hydronic 8-10-12
- Teleflex A2
- Teleflex A4
- Teleflex X45
- Volvo 41-11
- Webasto / Air Top 2000 ST (new version of Air Top 2000)
- Webasto / Air Top Evo 3900 (new version of Air Top 3500)
- Webasto / Air Top EVO 5500 (new version of Air Top 5000)
- Webasto / DBW 2010
- Webasto / DBW 2020/300
- Webasto / NGW 300
- Webasto - TSL 17 (Thermo Top C/Z)
- Webasto / Thermo 50
- Webasto / Thermo 90 ST (new version of Thermo 90S)
- Webasto / Thermo 230/300/350
- All Around Contracting LLC / Kool Rig System
- AuraGen - Inverter/Charger System
- Bergstrom, Inc - NITE
- Cool Moves / Models: Bycool Mochila and Bycool Revolution
- Cool Moves / Models: Minicool Compact and Minicool Dinamic
- Cool Moves - Rencool / Models: RDK4 and RTK5
- Crosspoint Solutions LLC - ClimaCab
- DC Power Solutions - APU/AC System
- Diamond Power Systems LLC/ Models: DPS 10K-DC and DPS 15KB
- Dometic Corp. - Sleeper AC
- Driver Comfort System - Driver Comfort System
- Energy Xtreme Independence Package Long-Haul Comfort System - battery APU/AC system
- Freightliner Cascadia - Park Smart System
- Hammond Air Conditioning, LTD - Artic Breeze
- Idle Free Systems - Reefer Link System I
- Indel B Sleeping Wel - Arctic 1000, Arctic 2000, Oblo
- NAS, LLC / Comfort Cab - Model: 100 M (Battery HVAC)
- Navistar - MaxxPower Battery HVAC System (with Espar E-Guardian Heater and insulated sleeper curtain)
- Paddock Solar - Paddock Solar
- Peterbilt - Comfort Class System
- Safer Corporation - VIESA
- Sobo Inc./ Kingtec Technologies (Heyuan) Co. Ltd. - Model: Sleeper AC 12K10F3-1
- Sun Power Technologies - Sleeper AC
- Thermo King TriPak - e
- Volvo - 971-001/2
- ACEMCO Power Systems, LLC / Model: ACEMCO Power Unit Series 1
- Airworks Compressors Corp / Model: Fusion APU
- Big Rig Products / Model: Nite Hawk
- Carrier Transicold - ComfortPro
- Centramatic - Centramatic
- Diamond Power Systems, LLC - Diamond Power System
- Dunamis Power Systems - Promax
- Hodyon LP - Dynasys APU
- Kohler- 3APU, 7 APU
- Life Force - Life Force
- Mantis Metalworks, LLC - Model 175
- McMillan Electric Company / Model: IdleTime 4500-300
- McMillan Electric Company / Model: IdleTime 4500-400
- Midwest Power Generators - MPG702
- Navistar - Fleetrite APU, MaxxPower APU w/ HVAC
- Navistar Fleetrite by Mobile Thermo Systems Inc./ Models: INTAPU146 and INTAPUT46
- Parks Industries, LLC: Model Hp 2000
- Pony Pack, Inc. - Pony Pack
- Power Technology Southeast - PowerPac
- RigMaster Power by Mobile Thermo Systems Inc. / Model: MTS T4-6
- Star Class - GEN-STAR 4500, GEN-STAR 6000
- Thermo King Corp. - TriPac
- TRIDAKO Energy Systems - Power Cube
- Volvo - 971-003/4 (optional 82A-B1X)
- Willis Power Systems - Willis APU
- Autotherm Division Enthal Systems, Inc / T-2500 Energy Recovery System (ERS)
- Webasto / BlueCool Truck
- Comfort / Duo-Therm heat pump
- Freightliner’s Shorepower System
- Phillips and Temro Industries / Cab Power 8500633
- Shurepower, LLC / Shurepower
- Volvo 5H-A1 / 120 V Shore Power Kit
- Volvo LN-A1 /Inverter Charger Kit
- Xantrex Technology / TRUCKPOWER Inverter/Charger & Cab
- ***List of Technologies No Longer Eligible for Federal Excise Tax Exemption***
Notice: On March 1, 2013 the verification status of the following device changed:
- Due to a change in ownership the Glacier Bay–ClimaCab (BAC) is now sold by Crosspoint Solutions LLC and renamed Crosspoint Solutions LLC – ClimaCab.
Notice: On March 21, 2012 the verification status of the following devices changed:
- Due to a change in ownership the Comfort Master (APU) has been renamed "ACEMCO Power Unit 1" and is now sold by ACEMCO Power Systems, LLC.
Notice: On August 18, 2011 the verification status of the following device(s) changed:
1. Teleflex, Inc.; no longer manufactured
2. Navistar/Bergstrom - 12V Aux No-Idle HVAC; no longer manufactured
Notice: On May 12, 2011 the verification status of the following devices changed:
- Idle Solutions - Idle Solutions; business status unavailable
- Kool Gen - KG-1000; business status unavailable
- Stark Mfg., LLC/ Parks Industries , LLC - HP2000; duplicate listing
- Truck Gen - UCT 2-5.5, UCT-APU; no longer manufactured nor providing service
Notice: On April 05, 2011, the verification status of the following devices changed:
- Aux Generators Inc. - Idle Hawk; business status unavailable
- Cummins - Comfort Guard; no longer manufactured
- Cummins Onan - Quiet Diesel; no longer manufactured
- Double Eagle Industries - Gen-Pac; business status unavailable
- Flying J Inc - Cab Comfort System; no longer manufactured
- Frigette Truck Climate Systems - APU, Gen Set 1, Gen Set 2; out of business and no longer manufactured
- Idlebuster - Idlebuster; suspended all operations
- Gates Corporation - Cab Runner; no longer manufacturing nor providing service.
Notice: On June 17, 2010, the verification status of the following devices changed:
- Auxiliary Power Dynamics, LLC; is now Willis Power systems - the Willis APU is listed
- Black Rock System - Black Rock; is out of business and is no longer listed
- Mechron Power Systems - CCS Lighting Cab Comfort; Mechron discontinued the CCS Lighting Cab Comfort subsequently it is no longer listed.
Notice: On November 23, 2010, the verification status of the following device changed:
- EnergyXtreme - PPEX60, PPEX80; discontinued,no longer available for class 8,heavy duty, long haul trucks