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Auxiliary Power Units

Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) are units added to trucks to reduce reliance on the main diesel engine for electrical power, heat and air conditioning, maintaining batteries at full charge, or keeping the main engine coolant at close to operating temperature. The use of an APU can lower fuel costs by up to 90% compared to idling on the main engine and reduce emissions.

There are many different brands of APUs on the market but they generally fall into three types:

  • Small Diesel APU – a small diesel engine powers belt driven accessories is used to provide services to the cab and main engine.
  • Small Diesel-Electric – a small diesel engine runs a 120V generator that powers accessories. This technology is typically designed to also plug into “shore” power, making for a zero emission tractor at some rest stops.
  • Battery-Electric – This all-battery APU provides electricity to operate accessories and has a small diesel fired heater. The system is recharged either via the main diesel engine or shore power.

A key consideration for APUs is installed cost versus payback. Technology suppliers may offer calculators to estimate the payback time for a specific application. See, for example, the calculator at Kohler.

E3 Fleet Partners

The E3 Fleet program reflects the commitment and expertise of many people, including some of the country’s most innovative fleet managers. All have a common passion – to see Canada’s fleets take a cleaner, green road to the future.

The Fraser Basin Council launched E3 Fleet in 2006 in cooperation with Climate Change Central (Alberta) and Fleet Challenge. Since October 2016, the program has been managed by Richmond Sustainability Initiatives (RSI).

The E3 Fleet Charter members were also pivotal to its success: Auto-Gas Propane, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Environment, City of Coquitlam, Corporation of Delta, Enbridge, City of Hamilton, Hydro One, City of Kelowna, Township of Langley, District of Maple Ridge, City of North Vancouver, Novex Couriers, City of Prince George, District of Saanich, University of BC and Municipality of Whistler. We’ve enjoyed the journey so far, and it’s only just begun. Join us!

E3 Fleet in Brief

E3 Fleet is a Canada-wide program that helps public and private sector organizations green up their vehicle fleets.

E3 Fleet offers information and tools to help you increase fuel efficiency in your fleet, reduce harmful emissions, manage expenses, and incorporate new technologies, fuels and best management practices. We offer Fleet Review and Fleet Rating, unique opportunities for you to boost fleet performance and receive recognition for that achievement.



In October 2016 Richmond Sustainability Initiatives (RSI) assumed management of the E3 Fleet program from the Fraser Basin Council. RSI is recognized for its work on green transportation and green building projects across North America and is host to Fleet Challenge.

Reach Us

For more information on Fleet Challenge and the E3 Fleet Standards program, contact:

Roger Smith
Executive Director
Fleet Challenge and E3 Fleet Program

T: 416 418-9931

Jana Cervinka

Director, Communications and External Relations
T: 954 299 5885