CALSTART, Denver Metro Clean Cities develop EV data collection project

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Denver's RTD has more than 30 electric buses.

The market for electric vehicles (EVs) is expanding, and the medium- (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) vehicle sector is no exception.

As a result of increased electrification, there is a growing need for up-to-date national data on plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technology.

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Denver Metro Clean Cities is partnering with CALSTART on a Medium- and Heavy-Duty EV Data Collection Project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The goal of this project is to obtain information about a diverse set of electric vehicles and how they perform under real-world conditions across different applications, geographies, terrains and climates.

“This project aims to advance the adoption of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles by increasing understanding of their real-world performance across a variety of use cases and environments,” Lily Paul, project manager at CALSTART, said.

The focus on medium- and heavy-duty EVs is a result of CALSTART’s extensive involvement and experience with these vehicle segments. Unlike light-duty electric vehicles (LD EVs) that have widespread publicly available information on technology performance, the need for MD and HD electric vehicle operational, charging and maintenance data is significant.

Larger vehicles also have more of an impact on the grid. It is important to understand how they operate in the real world to get information on their energy impact for planning and efficiency purposes.

Light-duty EVs have experienced great strides in development as a result of the wealth of information surrounding them; this project will focus data collection efforts on MD and HD EVs to give them the opportunity for the same type of progress.

The main goal of the Medium- and Heavy-Duty EV Data Collection Project is to increase the understanding of MD and HD electric vehicles to help build and improve this technology.

Participation in the project is designed to be as simple and straightforward as possible. Fleets interested in being a project data provider can start the process by meeting with CALSTART staff or participating Clean Cities Coalitions to discuss the project and what vehicles they have to offer.

Fleets will need to be approved for participation before they can begin supplying data. Unique EVs and fleets operating in regions with a lower concentration of EV fleets are prioritized in order to diversify DOE’s national database. Once approved, fleets review and sign the Data Sharing Agreement allowing CALSTART to collect and share vehicle data.

Fleets will receive complimentary telematic dataloggers, upon request, to record vehicle information over a 12-month period. If vehicles have existing dataloggers installed, fleet participants may grant CALSTART access to their telematics platform to collect data directly or by sending data reports.

Dataloggers collect operational data about energy usage, average speed and other performance information, which can be utilized for vehicle planning, efficiency and improvement. Driver behavior is a variable factor impacting EV performance; analysis of telematics data may illuminate driver optimization opportunities.

CALSTART will also collect information on EV charging, facilities and maintenance. This will provide information on charging behaviors, energy consumption and any other relevant vehicle information.

Automatic data sharing or transfer of data needs to be established for CALSTART to access all the necessary vehicle data. Once collected, the data is verified, cleaned, anonymized and uploaded to the DOE’s national labs database, Livewire.

The main target for the uploaded data is the national labs for analysis, but the information is also available to the public for additional analysis. Outside entities can use the vehicle data to look at efficiency, range, and even how MD and HD electric vehicles operate in different geographical locations.

The main goal of the Medium- and Heavy-Duty EV Data Collection Project is to increase the understanding of MD and HD electric vehicles to help build and improve this technology. This project is critical for the future of electrification by providing technical insights to understand how electric vehicles in these segments are performing in the real world.

CALSTART aims to increase the confidence fleets have in MD and HD EVs, leading to the widespread, national adoption of these technologies.

While CALSTART’s main focus is data collection rather than data analysis, fleets will receive an analysis of their individual data as well as a summary report of the major findings after the data collection period ends.

Data collection is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2022 and the entire project has a projected end date of March 2023.

Read more from Denver Metro Clean Cities here.

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