New heavy-duty vehicle emissions calculator launched

It was created to provide state officials and fleet managers with a tool to gauge emissions reductions across medium- and heavy-duty AFV project options affiliated with the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Settlement.

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Late January at FedFleet2018, Argonne National Laboratory launched the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Calculator (HDVEC). With support from NGVAmerica, this online resource was created to provide state officials and fleet managers with a tool to gauge emissions reductions across various medium- and heavy-duty alternative fuel vehicle project options affiliated with the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Settlement.

“As public officials begin to evaluate how best to clean their state’s air with their allotted VW Trust funding, this resource will prove vital in evaluating cost-effectiveness of real world vehicle options,” said Andrew Burnham of Argonne National Laboratory. “The Vehicle Emissions Calculator is a valuable tool for policymakers, fleet managers and procurement administrators alike as they look to compare vehicle technologies for emissions reductions associated with fleet operations.”

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The HDVEC estimates the vehicle operation nitrogen oxide (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) as well as the well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) of current commercially-available alternative fuel medium- and heavy-duty vehicles eligible for funding under the VW settlement. Volkswagen’s $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust fund provides each state an incredible opportunity to make an immediate and tangible impact on air quality by targeting medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, the leading source of these toxic air contaminants in almost every metropolitan area.

The tool can calculate results for three project types allowable under the Trust Settlement:

  • Environmental Mitigation with Scrappage – new alternative fuel versus diesel, plus additional benefit from early retirement of the scrapped vehicle
  • Environmental Mitigation with Repower – vehicle after repower versus diesel before repower
  • Clean Vehicle Replacement – new alternative fuel versus diesel

The HDVEC was developed using Argonne’s Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation Tool (AFLEET) available at: https://greet.es.anl.gov/afleet. AFLEET 2017 uses emissions data from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) and Argonne’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) models.

Recent analysis has found that diesel in-use emissions are much higher than their laboratory certification results. Diesel NOx is driven by the type and performance of its after-treatment systems, which can be highly duty-cycle dependent. While data for in-use NOx of new diesels is limited, analysis has shown that the EPA MOVES model is likely underestimating diesel NOx emissions. For the new tool (and AFLEET), the option to use in-use multipliers is available to provide sensitivity cases as compared to the default MOVES results. AFLEET 2017 also adds a low-NOx engine option for CNG and LNG heavy-duty vehicles.

“AFLEET and HDVEC are the only tools analyzing alternative fuels in detail (including development of low-NOx emissions and the ability to compare EVs upstream emissions), as well as allowing for scenarios to examine higher diesel NOx emissions for MY 2010 and newer vehicles,” said Burnham. (See webinar for more information: https://cleancities.energy.gov/webinars#11923.)

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