Energy Xtreme installs their Independence Package, an auxiliary battery system, on police cruisers. This eliminates the need for police cars to idle their engines. I spoke with Energy Xtreme’s CEO Devin Scott and got great information on this innovative anti-idling technology.
1) How did Energy Xtreme start?
We found this technology about 5 years ago, which has actually been in existence for about 10+ years but it was never brought to commercial use. We started coming up with idle reduction products and clean mobile power products. We combined the core technology, which is a dry, solid state, non-hazmat, power cell with electronics to create a power management system that operates a vehicle’s full electrical system and provides clean mobile power for tools and equipment without engaging the vehicle’s engine.
2) Can you tell me about the anti-idling Independence Package for police cars?
The Independence Package operates the police cruiser’s full electrical system–including the lights, camera, computer, radio and any ancillary electrical equipment without engaging the vehicle’s engine. So, a police cruiser typically runs its engine 24/7 and the reason being is that the OEM battery would run dead in 10 to 15 minutes trying to power the vehicle’s electrical load. So, they have to keep the car running and the alternator powers all of that equipment. What we’ve done is taken the charge off the alternator and stored it for when the engine is off. We can protect that OEM battery from ever going dead. We don’t allow our system to drain past 20% complete depletion so there is always enough power there to jumpstart or start that vehicle, so a police officer will never be left stranded.
3) Can you describe the installation process?
The installation process is very simple. It is a three-wire install, one to the ancillary electrical load, one [wire] to the alternator and one [wire] to the OEM Battery. The installation takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to do. We found that most police departments have capable fleet managers to do the install with an installation manual. We also have an install video and we can walk them through the first install [over the phone]. This does not void any factory warrantees.
4) Describe the environmental benefits and what is the payoff time?
We are eliminating emissions and not just reducing them because we are turning off the vehicle that would otherwise be turned on to power this equipment. So, it’s just a mathematical equation to how we affect and how much we eliminate vehicle emissions.
For example, if we reduce 4 hours of idle time on a police cruiser, which equates to a gallon of gas per hour and it’s twenty pounds of C02 emissions per [gallon of gasoline] that we reduce from EPA standards. So then just multiply that out.
So, the Dallas police department typical uses the system from 3 to 5 hours a day, so their pay off is quick. We say that the payoff is less than two years just on fuel savings alone and that is based on an average of about two hours a day. So, if your averaging 5 hours a day or 6 hours, whatever that reduction in fuel is a direct correlation to how long it takes to take off.
In addition to the fuel savings we also eliminate dead batteries because we are taking the load off the OEM battery. Our system has no maintenance. So the fact that we eliminate dead batteries, we reduce labor costs and down time. One police department fleet-manager told me he thought this [Independence Package] would “revolutionize the way that police fleets operate. [The same fleet manager also said that] police departments usually keep 20-30% more cars just to keep them on the road because of dead batteries. … These [OEM] batteries are running dead every 4-6 weeks. So they [police officers] wake up and they have to deal with what car works, get another car, get another patrolman to take that car. And he [this fleet manager] thinks that will eliminate the need to keep that many cars on hand because we can reduce the number of dead batteries. He thinks it will reduce the number of cars they [police dept] purchase, which will bring significant dollar savings, which isn’t even calculated into this.
We will continue to refine and we will see idle-reduction regulations. We see that already, a lot of cities are having ordinances against idling with fines and the more that we see that….the more technology we will be driven to create idle-reduction packages.
…..Our technology is generation neutral so we don’t care what the vehicle is powered by. Whether it’s diesel, gas, battery propulsion, we can supplement and take over that electrical load, which allows the fuel efficiency of that car to increase substantially and get rid of idling all together. I also think that we’ll see regenerative breaking come into effect within the next 5 years and I think that will be the next major step in idle reduction.