Skip to main content

Vehicle Technology Simulation and Analysis Tools

NREL's systems analysis and integration team uses the following NREL-developed modeling, simulation, and analysis tools to investigate novel vehicle technologies with the potential to achieve significant fuel savings and greenhouse gas reductions.

NREL conducts technical analyses of promising technologies and explores trade-offs between component sizes and design goals (e.g., fuel economy versus performance) to find cost-competitive solutions.

  • ADOPT: Automotive Deployment Options Projection Tool

    The ADOPT modeling tool predicts consumer demand for different vehicle types based on income distribution and other demographic attributes in a given region. ADOPT's market predictions have been extensively validated against historical vehicle sales data. For more information, refer to this technical paper on ADOPT.

  • DRIVE: Drive Cycle Rapid Investigation, Visualization, and Evaluation

    The DRIVE analysis tool characterizes vehicle operation and produces custom drive cycles at record speed from large amounts of real-world vehicle data gathered via onboard logging devices.

  • FASTSim: Future Automotive Systems Technology Simulator

    The FASTSim simulation tool evaluates the impact of technology improvements on vehicle efficiency, performance, cost, and battery life in different vehicle designs—conventional vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and all-electric vehicles and use scenarios.

  • Fleet DNA

    The Fleet DNA clearinghouse of commercial fleet vehicle operating data provides data summaries and visualizations similar to real-world genetics for medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles operating in a variety of vocations.

  • Transportation Secure Data Center

    This repository of detailed travel data from various surveys and studies features second-by-second GPS readings for millions of miles of travel, along with vehicle characteristics and survey participant demographics.

Before the development of these tools, NREL used the ADVISOR Advanced Vehicle Simulator to analyze the performance and fuel economy of conventional and advanced light- and heavy-duty vehicles. Developed between 1994 and 2004, ADVISOR's open-source code remains popular today.

In addition to the suite of NREL-developed simulation and analysis tools, the team uses tools developed by Argonne National Laboratory, including the GREET Model, which evaluates various vehicle and fuel combinations on a full fuel-cycle basis, and Autonomie, a plug-and-play powertrain and vehicle model architecture and development environment.