Natural Gas – Conversions, Vehicles and Technology

Argonne Lab Offers Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Calculator

February 01, 2018

Photo via NGVAmerica.
Photo via NGVAmerica.

Argonne National Laboratory launched the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Calculator (HDVEC) at a presentation at FedFleet 2018 in Washington, D.C. This online resource was created to provide state officials and fleet managers with an accurate tool to gauge emissions reductions across various medium- and heavy-duty vehicle project options affiliated with the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Settlement. NGVAmerica welcomes the HDVEC tool as reflecting current vehicle availability and emissions performance data and congratulates Argonne on its success.  

“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’s Center for Transportation Research. “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.”  

Available at the Argonne website and linked at the NGVAmerica’s website, 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.  

“Heavy-duty vehicles are the fastest growing segment of U.S. transportation in terms of energy use and emissions, and HDVs are major emitters of NOx, diesel particulate matter, and greenhouse gases,” said NGVAmerica President Daniel Gage. “Mobile sources account for 50 percent of America’s smog-precursor emissions like NOx. This calculator demonstrates that allocating funds to deploy low-NOx natural gas vehicles provides the best way to deliver immediate and cost-effective NOx reductions and air quality benefit.”  

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 here.  AFLEET Tool 2017 uses emissions data from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator and Argonne’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation models.

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