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Project Title:

Assessment of Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase 2
PIN: DEPS-BEES-12-02        

Major Unit:

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Transportation Research Board

Sub Unit: DEPS Board on Energy & Environmental Systems
Studies and Special Programs Division

RSO: Offutt, Martin

Subject/Focus Area: Energy and Energy Conservation; Engineering and Technology; Transportation and Infrastructure


Project Scope
The ad hoc committee formed to carry out this study will continue the work of the National Research Council for the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in an updated assessment of technologies and programs for reducing the fuel consumption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  The committee will reassess the technologies analyzed in the NRC report, Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (2010), providing updated estimates of the cost, potential efficiency improvements, and barriers to commercial deployment of technologies that might be employed in model years 2022 and beyond.  The assessment will reflect developments since the initial report was issued and investigate any new technologies that may become important in model years beyond 2022/2023.  The committee will also examine and make recommendations for improvements to the medium- and heavy-duty fuel efficiency program. 

The committee will prepare a first report to be delivered in 2014 as follows:

1. The committee will review the NHTSA fuel consumption regulations promulgated on 15 September 2011 (76 Federal Register 57106) and consider the technological, market and regulatory factors that may be of relevance to a revised and updated regulatory regime taking effect for model years 2019-2022. This review will include, but not be limited to, the potential for technological change in commercial vehicles in MY 2019-2022 and the impact it might have on the regulatory regime. Also as part of its review, the committee will explore regulatory options for trailers.

2. The committee will analyze and provide options for improvements to the certification and compliance procedures for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles - including the use of representative test cycles and simulation using various models - such as might be implemented in revised fuel consumption regulations affecting MY 2019-2022.

3. The committee will review an updated analysis of the makeup and characterization of the medium- and heavy-duty truck fleet, including combination tractors, trailers, busses and vocational vehicles. The committee also will review the methodology for providing on-road information on fuel consumption.

4. The committee will examine the barriers to and the potential applications of natural gas in class 2b through class 8 vehicles. The committee will consider how such vehicles could be included in the framework on fuel consumption regulations.

5. Address uncertainties and perform sensitivity analyses for the fuel consumption and cost/benefit estimates, to the extent possible, and provide guidance to NHTSA on improving its uncertainty analyses given the relatively long time frame for these future estimates.


With respect to a final report (May 2016), the committee will:

6. Review and contrast the final rule for fuel efficiency/greenhouse gas emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles for model years 2014-2018 with the recommendations offered in the NRC 2010 report.  The committee will identify the potential implications and gaps in the U.S. regulatory process for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as they pertain to the engine manufacturers, trailer manufacturers, final stage manufacturers, and complete vehicles.  As part of this activity, the committee will explore regulatory options for trailers from a total vehicle perspective. The committee will contrast the U.S. regulatory approach to that in other parts of the world, notably Europe, Japan, China and India.

7. Analyze and provide options for improvements to the certification and compliance procedures for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including the use of representative test cycles and simulation using EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GEM) model.

8. Review updated baseline information on the medium- and heavy-duty truck fleet, including combination tractors and trailers.  The committee also will review the methodology for providing on-road information on fuel consumption necessary to inform baseline standards.

9. Examine advanced gasoline engine technologies, including the ability of those engines to meet load demands, the impact of those engines on cost, the need for after-treatment systems, and their market acceptability. The committee will also consider the impacts of possible alternate fuels on these technologies.

10. Examine diesel vehicle technologies, including the capabilities of emissions control systems to meet current and possible future criteria pollutant emissions standards, the impacts on fuel consumption attributed to meeting emissions standards, and the fuel characteristics needed to enable low emissions diesel technologies. The committee will also consider the impacts of possible alternate fuels on these technologies.

11. Examine electric power train technologies, including the capabilities, limitations and cost of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.  Specific areas of interest include electric vs. hydraulic vs. other; all electric vehicles; start/stop systems; implementation strategies; total capital and operating costs; modeling and simulations as a tool; the certification process; and emissions compliance.

12. Examine battery technologies including an examination of the cost, performance, range, durability (including performance degradation over time) and safety issues related to lithium ion and other possible advanced energy storage technologies that are necessary to enable plug-in and full function electric vehicles.

13. Examine the potential for reducing vehicle mass including technologies such as materials substitution, and the use of new vehicle, structural, system or component designs. Examine other vehicle technologies, including aerodynamic drag reduction, improved efficiency of accessories such as alternators, and the conversion of engine-driven equipment to electricity (e.g., HVAC, fans, and water pumps).

14. Evaluate intermodal and intelligent systems for potential fuel consumption benefits, including a survey of the current fleet communication systems (vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure), existing barriers to implementation, and future technologies.

15. Review the potential impacts of fuel-consumption-reduction technologies on medium- and heavy-duty vehicle safety including aerodynamic components, wide-based wheels and tires, tire pressure monitoring/automatic inflation systems, hybridization/alternative fuels, combination vehicles/higher GVWRs, light-weighting, and idle reduction/stop-start, and others.

16. Provide an analysis of how fuel efficient technologies may be practically integrated into manufacturing processes and how such technologies are likely to be applied in response to requirements for reducing fuel consumption.  The committee will include an analysis of how technology implementation is likely to impact capital equipment and engineering, research and development (ER&D) costs, the certification process, and emissions compliance.

17. Examine the costs, cost multipliers and benefits that could accompany the introduction of technologies for reducing fuel consumption. Consider to the extent possible, initial and life-cycle costs, including such aspects as operation, maintenance, insurance, and other factors.

18. To the extent possible, address uncertainties and perform sensitivity analyses for the fuel consumption and cost/benefit estimates and provide guidance to NHTSA on improving its uncertainty analyses given the relatively long time frame for these future estimates.

19.  Write a final report documenting its conclusions and recommendations.


The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The approximate start date for the project is September 24, 2012.

A first report will be issued in 2014. A second, final report will be issued approximately May 2016.

NOTE: The statement of task was revised on September 27, 2013 to reflect the addition of a new report due in 2014.


 
Project Duration: 48 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

Meetings
 Meeting 1 - 03/20/2013
 Meeting 2 - 05/09/2013
 Meeting 3 - 06/20/2013
 Meeting 4 - 07/31/2013
 Meeting 5 - 09/25/2013
 Meeting 6 - 11/21/2013
 Meeting 7 - 01/30/2014
 Meeting 8 - 04/22/2014
 Meeting 9 - 04/23/2014
 Meeting 10 - 04/28/2014
 Meeting 11 - 06/04/2014
 Meeting 12 - 07/29/2014
 Meeting 13 - 12/03/2014

Reports

Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Reducing the Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase Two: First Report