Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Economy

For heavy-duty vehicles, NREL performs extensive engine- and vehicle-based research to quantify and validate the fuel economy and emissions impacts of advanced fuel formulations and combustions strategies.

A research technician works on an electric school bus at the ReFUEL laboratory.
We conduct most of this research at the Renewable Fuels and Lubricants (ReFUEL) laboratory.

In addition to fuels formulation and combustion impacts, NREL researchers evaluate the fuel economy and emission impacts of vehicle electrification and hybridization, as well as aerodynamics improvements. Typical example studies might look at the performance, fuel consumption, and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions trade-offs of biofuels—such as biodiesel or renewable diesel fuels.

A heavy-duty chassis dynamometer at ReFUEL allows researchers to evaluate the fuel consumption performance of electric-drive vehicles including hybridized powertrains and electrified auxiliary loads or power take off requirements for work trucks.

Finally, on-road fuel economy and emission impacts are researched using portable emission measurement systems and on-road cost-down techniques to evaluate real-world emissions fuel properties, as well as, the fuel economy impact of aerodynamic improvement devices.


To learn more about our work or explore partnership opportunities, contact Jon Burton.