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Vehicle Technology Integration

Photo showing multiple alternative fuel vehicles, from sedans to vans, to heavy-duty trucks, with the Chicago skyline in the background.

NREL's expert resources, technical assistance, and robust partnerships have contributed to thousands of successful transportation projects across the nation at the state and local level.
Photo from Samantha Bingham, Chicago Area Clean Cities

NREL offers technical expertise and builds strong partnerships for integrating emerging vehicle technologies.

We have expertise in the implementation of advanced transportation projects, encompassing alternative fuels, mobility systems, electric vehicles, fleet operation, and transportation efficiency.

Our capabilities in vehicle technology integration include:

Collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office, other national laboratories, and industry stakeholders, bolsters our ability to engage expertise and tackle complex problems.

Leadership for Industry and Government Partners

NREL builds time-tested partnerships with industry and government leaders that benefit from shared interests and leverage NREL's world-class research, tools, and expertise to address real-world transportation challenges. In turn, these partnerships prepare the market for broad adoption of emerging transportation technologies.

Local Communities

Through publications, tools, training, and technical assistance, NREL enables fleet managers, municipalities, and other industry decision makers to stay fully informed and improve transportation efficiency. Bolstered by NREL's technical leadership, Clean Cities coalitions' have successfully transformed local markets by integrating alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies since 1993.

We also connect communities across the country by supporting DOE's Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS) program. This work leverages next-generation technologies to maximize the energy efficiency of transportation systems while improving the affordability, accessibility, and convenience of moving people and goods.

State Fleets

NREL leads DOE's regulatory activities mandated under the Energy Policy Act Energy Policy Act (EPAct) for state and alternative fuel provider fleets. These regulatory activities are transforming the U.S. transportation sector by not only expanding alternative fuel infrastructure and facilitating the growth of the market for alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technologies, but also translating lessons learned from these fleets to inform the next generation of technology and implementation.

We help the roughly 2,000 state and alternative fuel provider fleets involved with the program understand their compliance options and the impact that new technologies can have on a fleet's footprint and bottom line. More than 300 compliance results reports are submitted annually for these fleets.

Federal Fleets

Through DOE's Federal Energy Management Program, NREL provides expertise and assistance to help federal agencies meet their transportation goals, such as reducing emissions and fuel costs as well as increasing alternative fuel use.

We support advanced technology implementation in federal fleets by providing technical and regulatory support, identifying opportunities to use alternative fuel using the Fleet Sustainability Dashboard (FleetDASH), and gathering federal fleet managers at the monthly INTERFUEL meeting to share lessons learned, new technology, and best practices across the federal sector.

Vehicle Technology Forums

In collaboration with partners in industry and government, NREL leads industry forums such as the Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forum These forums thrive on a diverse membership united by common goals to build a strong and varied transportation future.

NREL's leadership empowers transportation stakeholders to:

  • Share information
  • Identify technology targets and gaps
  • Discuss ongoing research, development, and implementation of commercially competitive natural gas engines, vehicles, and infrastructure.

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Advanced Transportation Tools, Data, and Information

NREL offers data, information, and tools that shape the future of transportation by equipping fleets, fuel providers, and transportation planners with information to make informed decisions about alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.

Alternative Fuels Data Center

NREL manages the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), a fuel-neutral online resource with comprehensive, peer-reviewed information, data, and tools. The website helps fleets and other transportation decision makers find ways to reach their energy and economic goals with alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures. The AFDC also provides access to case studies, state-of-the-art tools and calculators, and expert technical assistance.

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

NREL developed the Alternative Fueling Station Locator—the most comprehensive database of alternative fueling stations in the United States and Canada. It helps fleet managers, drivers, researchers, and policymakers find fueling stations and understand fueling infrastructure for electric vehicle charging, natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, propane, and hydrogen.

To view Canada's locator, visit the Natural Resources Canada website.

Fleet DNA

NREL built the Fleet DNA data clearinghouse of medium- and heavy-duty commercial fleet vehicle operating data to help fleet managers make decisions that maximize efficiency and return on investment.

Fleet Sustainability Dashboard

NREL developed the Fleet Sustainability Dashboard to encourage fleet managers to increase alternative fuel use by tracking missed opportunities to use alternative fuels in dual-fuel vehicles. The tool provides information about fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and vehicle inventories for participating federal fleets. It also helps fleet managers track vehicle fueling locations and identify underutilized vehicles, overlapping routes, and opportunities to use electric vehicles.

National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center

Designed for the secure management, storage, and processing of proprietary industry data, the National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center plays a crucial role in NREL's independent, third-party analysis of hydrogen fuel cell technologies in real-world operation.

Transportation Secure Data Center

Created by NREL in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Transportation Secure Data Center features detailed travel data from various surveys and studies conducted across the nation. This tool helps transportation planners, researchers, and manufacturers save time by accessing vital transportation data from a variety of sources in one place. The tool also provides data filtering, road grade and road network matching, and dataset comparisons.

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Project Implementation

NREL provides various types of project assistance to help early adopters overcome planning and implementation barriers, learn from past experiences, anticipate future challenges, and share knowledge with other fleets to improve the outcome of advanced transportation projects.

Technical Assistance

NREL assists with real-world problem-solving and ensuring informed adoption of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. We are trusted by industry and possess deep experience in navigating implementation and operational issues. We help both fleets and communities plan for adding infrastructure, acquiring new vehicles, calculating potential impacts, and solving specific technical challenges if they arise. Fleet managers also rely on our experts to assist in reviving troubled projects and ensuring the success of future projects.

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Validation

NREL's hydrogen and fuel cell Technology Validation Project helps the development community understand the current state of fuel cell technologies and identify areas for continued improvement.

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NREL often translates lessons learned from technical assistance activities into DOE resources, many of which describe best practices.

Compressed Natural Gas Fuel Tank Defueling, Decommissioning, and Disposal Video

Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle Maintenance Facility Modification Handbook

Costs Associated with Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

Handbook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing E85 and Other Ethanol-Gasoline Blends

What Fleets Need to Know About Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversions, Retrofits, and Repowers

For more resources, visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center publications database.

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To connect with a member of NREL's Vehicle Technology Integration team or to learn more about our work, contact Margo Melendez.