Will Northrop, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Increased electrification is a clear trend in regional trucking, with multiple vehicle manufacturers bringing to market commercially available battery and hydrogen fuel cell class 6-8 trucks. On the fleet side, at least 70% of major truck fleet operators reported exploring purchase and implementation of electric vehicles for their operations as of 20181. Recently, multiple high- profile companies including PepsiCo, Walmart, Amazon and UPS have publicly committed to the purchase of electric delivery vehicles2. Despite these commitments, companies have yet to implement these vehicles at scale due to range anxiety, limited charging infrastructure availability, and sparse data from in-use operation. Further, electric vehicle implementations have been disproportionately by larger fleets with more resources. With successful heavy-duty electric vehicle implementation being highly dependent on vehicle duty cycle including vehicle mass and road grade as well as external factors like climate and traffic, any electrification recommendation must be tailored to the individual fleet and vehicle.
To address these concerns and enable large scale electric vehicle adoption the project will develop a Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Integration and Implementation (HEVII) tool to both assess heavy-duty electric vehicle suitability and identify necessary infrastructure improvement that can be applied at a site, local and national scale, based on in-use data vehicle data.
The developed tool will utilize existing telematics information already collected from conventionally-powered, heavy-duty vehicles in regional delivery fleets combined with a vehicle model and optimization code to predict battery size and on-route charging locations required to complete the same desired work. It will add capabilities to current tools including the ability to take multiple vehicle data and to estimate payload mass from existing vehicle driving cycles.
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy