Once NYCT made its commitment to purchase new CNG and hybrid buses, DOE and NREL started planning the next phase of evaluation work, which is reported here. The current DOE/NREL evaluation work is a part of DOE’s Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA). The evaluation planned with NYCT is three-fold:
Study 10 hybrid buses from the order of 125 buses (and diesel baseline buses)
Study 10 CNG buses from the combined order of 260 buses (and diesel baseline buses)
Study 10 hybrid buses from the order of 200 buses (and diesel baseline buses)
This evaluation report examines early evaluation results from 10 buses from the order of 260 of CNG Orion VII buses and 10 buses from the first hybrid order of 125 hybrid buses. The DOE/NREL evaluation of the hybrid and CNG buses is two-thirds of the way through the standard 12-month evaluation. Reporting for the full 12-month evaluation will be completed in 2006. Evaluation of the order of 200 hybrid buses is also under way and will be reported in a future evaluation report.
Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity
The role of AVTA is to bridge the gap between research and development (R&D) and commercial availability of advanced vehicle technologies that reduce U.S. petroleum use while improving air quality. AVTA supports DOE’s FreedomCAR & Vehicle Technologies Program in moving these technologies from R&D to market deployment by examining market factors and customer requirements, evaluating performance and durability of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, and assessing the performance of these vehicles in fleet applications.
The main objective of AVTA projects is to provide comprehensive, unbiased evaluations of advanced technologies. Data collected and analyzed include the operation, maintenance, performance, safety, cost, and emissions characteristics of advanced technology fleets and comparable conventional technology fleets operating at the same site. By comparing available advanced and conventional technology vehicles, AVTA evaluations help fleet owners and operators make informed purchasing decisions.
The NREL evaluation team, which is composed of NREL and Battelle personnel, conducts AVTA medium- and heavy-duty vehicle evaluations. Hybrid electric and CNG transit buses are a few of the advanced vehicle choices available today. The evaluation team has conducted or is in the process of conducting several evaluations of advanced propulsion vehicles (Table 1). For information on other evaluations, visit www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/fleettest.