The Idle Free electric APU is The Complete Electric APU Solution™ for drivers pulling refrigerated or reefer trailers. This patented, one-of-a-kind idle elimination solution uses the energy produced by a reefer unit to meet all the HVAC needs of drivers—without idling the truck and the cost that goes with it.

The Case for Idle Elimination

Reefer units can be used to meet the HVAC and hotel needs of drivers

Reefer units supply the energy needed to keep temperature-controlled cargo in a reefer trailer at just the right temperature. Because temperature control is a safety issue, reefer units are exempt from emissions regulations, while the diesel that fuels them is exempt from highway fuel taxes.

Like other drivers, drivers pulling a reefer resort to discretionary idling to generate the energy required to meet their HVAC and hotel needs. But because the reefer unit is also running, drivers who idle and run a reefer unit are really running two diesel engines at the same time.

The Idle Free electric APU eliminates this inefficiency with the Reefer Link™ technology. This patented technology allows drivers pulling a reefer to use energy produced by the reefer unit to heat or cool the cab or bunk, warm the engine or fuel tanks, and run a TV or computer with 120 volt AC electricity.

Benefits of the Idle Free Electric APU

The Idle Free electric APU offers drivers and fleet operators many benefits compared to both discretionary idling and other idle-elimination options, including diesel APUs and other electric APUs.

  • Reduced diesel consumption by as much as 3,000 gallons per year.
  • Reduced engine wear and tear and related maintenance costs.
  • Unlimited run time for HVAC systems as well as uninterrupted 120 volt AC electricity to meet hotel needs.
  • Low system weight of approximately 150 pounds for a fully-installed reefer-based system.
  • Compliance with all anti-idle laws and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
  • Complete, year-round idle elimination—not just reduced idling (like diesel APUs) or the elimination of idling for A/C only (like other electric APUs).
  • Customized systems based on driving conditions, budget, and investment timeline.
  • Easy installation (approximately eight hours compared to 16 hours for other systems) and zero annual maintenance costs.

The Idle Free electric APU works with any make or model of truck pulling a refrigerated trailer. It is also an EPA SmartWay-verified technology, which means it is one of the cleanest and most fuel-efficient available on the market.

Visit the Benefits page to learn more about the benefits of the Idle Free electric APU.

Systems and Configurations

The Idle Free electric APU for drivers pulling a reefer trailer is a reefer-based system that uses patented Reefer Link™ technology to make energy from the reefer unit available to the driver when the truck engine is off. Drivers can use this energy to heat or cool the bunk, warm the engine or fuel tanks, and meet their hotel needs with 120 volt AC electricity.

The reefer-based system can be installed on its own or in combination with Idle Free's battery-based system. This is a useful option for trucks that sometimes back haul dry cargo in a refrigerated trailer (i.e., that pull a refrigerated trailer without the reefer unit running).

The reefer-based system includes a standard shore power outlet. This means drivers have at least two alternatives to discretionary idling when truck stop electrification (TSE) services are available.

In addition, the reefer-based system comes in three configurations: combined heat and A/C for year-round idle elimination in all climates; heat-only; and A/C-only. Drivers or fleet operators who choose to invest initially in a heat-only or A/C-only configuration can easily expand their system in the future as budgetary and/or driving conditions change.

ROI Calculator

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Total hours of discretionary idling per year


Annual cost of discretionary idling