The Advantages of an Electric APU

Discover the some of advantages of using an electric APU over a diesel APU and how it can help your fleet and drivers.

Improved Fuel Savings

While diesel APUs save more fuel when compared to engine idling, they still burn on average .25 gallons per hour, according to the EPA. In comparison to its diesel APU, the electric (or sometimes referred to as battery) APU does not use any diesel to operate. Over the life time of a tractor, this equates to hundreds of gallons of diesel saved when using the electric APU.

When switching over to an electric APU, fleets and owner-operators have a handful of choices to power the batteries. These options include upgrading the engine alternator, adding solar panels to the roof, or incorporating Blackburn's RelGen into the electric APU package.

Enhanced Reliability and Durability

Electric APUs offer enhanced reliability and durability compared to diesel APUs. Diesel APUs have small diesel engines and diesel particulate filters (DPFs) that can result in mechanical failures and require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Electric APUs, on the other hand, have fewer moving parts and are less susceptible to mechanical issues.

Electric APUs also have a longer lifespan compared to diesel APUs. Diesel engines tend to wear out over time and may require costly replacements. Electric APUs, on the other hand, have a longer operational life.

By choosing an electric APU, you can benefit from increased reliability and durability, reducing downtime and improving the overall efficiency of your operations.

Quieter Operation

Electric APUs offer quieter operation compared to diesel APUs. Diesel engines can be noisy, causing noise pollution and potentially disturbing for those trying to sleep. Electric APUs, on the other hand, operate silently, minimizing noise pollution and creating a more comfortable working environment.

The quiet operation of electric APUs can also have additional benefits, such as improved driver comfort and reduced fatigue. By reducing noise levels, electric APUs can contribute to a more pleasant working environment for drivers and other personnel. In a case study done with Blackburn, a driver who tried an electric APU for the first time told us that he "hopes to never use a diesel APU again" after the electric APU's quiet operation.

If noise reduction is a priority for your operations, an electric APU can provide a significant advantage over a diesel APU.

Reduced Environmental Impact

Electric APUs offer a significant reduction in environmental impact compared to their diesel counterparts. Diesel APUs emit harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide, contributing to air pollution and climate change. In contrast, electric APUs produce zero emissions during operation, helping to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, electric APUs reduce the need for diesel fuel, decreasing the overall carbon footprint of your operations. By choosing an electric APU, you can contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future.


If you are considering trying out an electric APU, Blackburn's hybrid charging system, RelGen, could serve as the energy source for it. A leading electric APU manufacturer said our solution keeps batteries charged better than anything they had seen before.


Want to see how RelGen charges electric APUs? Watch this animation.