Power system for refrigerator trucks aims to reduce diesel pollution

With electric system, trucks like the Oasis could get food to the market without spewing extra fumes associated with a second diesel-chugging motor.

Car Culture
Oasis electric-cooled truck Global Refrigeration Systems

Refrigerator trucks may not be sexy, but they play a vital role in our day-to-day lives by carrying food and supplies from one part of the country to another. However, they also contribute a significant amount of pollution on our roads.

Aura Systems, a company based in El Segundo, Calif., on Wednesday introduced a mobile-power system that keeps produce cold by using electricity instead of diesel fuel.

Traditional refrigeration trucks use a separate diesel engine to drive the compressor that keeps the inside of the truck cold. The extra engine not only emits more pollutants, but is also extremely expensive to operate.

The first vehicle with the new system, the Oasis, is a midsize Isuzu refrigeration truck. The truck's cooling compressor is jump-started by a large power surge (the system can handle between 5 kilowatts and 8.5 kilowatts of power), and it is kept running by the truck's main engine. And although the system still relies on diesel to keep it going, Aura reps say the elimination of the second motor saves, on average, about $250 in fuel costs per month, per truck.

The Oasis is set be on display at the Worldwide Food Expo October 24 through 27 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

For more information, visit the sites of Global Refrigeration Systems and Aura Systems.

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