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    DOE Teams Up to Advance Natural Gas Vehicle Research

    Natural Gas Powered Heavy Duty TruckLiterally and figuratively, vehicles are driving the U.S. economy. Vehicles transport 11 billion tons of freight annually, which is about $35 billion worth of goods each day,[1] and Americans drive more than 3 trillion vehicle-miles per year.[2]  As the transportation sector continues to grow, diversified affordable solutions will ensure resiliency and affordability, while meeting increasing energy demands. Natural gas is poised to play a key role as a versatile, low-emission fuel and is an increasingly attractive alternative to conventional diesel fuel.

    To help advance natural gas vehicle technologies, the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), California Energy Commission, and South Coast Air Quality Management District have partnered to launch a research effort to drive past technical barriers to the increased use of natural gas for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles.

    As part of this effort, NREL issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to award up to $11 million for projects that focus on: (1) reducing the cost natural gas vehicles, (2) increasing vehicle efficiency, and (3) advancing new innovative medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engine designs. This RFP builds on the lessons-learned from the partners’ broad experiences in natural gas vehicle technologies.

    Projects selected through this solicitation will complement Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) research started in FY 2017 to improve the performance, reliability, durability, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency of natural gas vehicles. VTO’s work and the RFP announced today build are informed through stakeholder outreach and workshops to identify key research needs. Cost-effectively achieving diesel-like efficiency in natural gas engines, while meeting emissions standards, will improve the viability of natural gas fueled medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

    For more information about the RFP, please visit.  https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DOE/NREL/NR/RHQ-8-82305/listing.html

     

    [1] Bureau of Transportation Statistics, DOT, Transportation Statistics Annual Report 2017, Table 3-1.  https://www.bts.gov/bts-publications/transportation-statistics-annual-reports/tsar-2017 )

    [2] Transportation Energy Data Book 36th Edition, ORNL, 2017. Table 3.7 Shares of Highway Vehicle-Miles Traveled by Vehicle Type, 1970-2015.


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    FOTW #1046: The Average Household Vehicle Was Driven 10,200 Miles in 2017

    The average of all household vehicles driven in 2017 was 10,200 miles. Newer vehicles are typically driven more miles than older vehicles. Vehicles with ages of one to five years all average over 12,000 miles per year. The vehicles that are over nine years old average 7,800 miles per year.

    Average annual miles per vehicle by vehicle age in 2017

    Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, National Household Travel Survey website, accessed June 6, 2018.

    Fact #1046 Dataset


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    Transportation Analysis Fact of the Week #1045

    77%-82% of Energy Put into an Electric Car is Used to Move the Car Down the Road

    Unlike conventionally fueled vehicles, electric vehicles experience a loss of energy during “refueling,” with an energy loss of about 16% from the wall power to the battery during charging. However, electric vehicles are otherwise highly efficient delivering 60%-65% of the energy from the wall power to the road even before energy is reclaimed through regenerative braking. When energy gains from regenerative braking are included, the amount of energy used for traveling down the road can rise to more than 80% in the EPA-combined city and highway driving cycle.

    Energy Requirements for Combined City/Highway Driving - Electric Vehicles

    Source: U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fuel Economy Guide website.

    View the supporting data for this Fact of the Week.

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