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Selecting/Comparing Technology & Alternative Fuels

Selecting/Comparing Technology & Alternative Fuels

The Green Truck Association (GTA) believes that all viable technologies and fuels have a place when applied to the right application. The challenge is determining the best option for your unique need.

The GTA encourages the use of systems and tools to deliver better results and facilitate the comparison of alternatives. 

To find the best fuel-saving technology or alternative fuel for your application, there is a Hierarchy of Application, as well as a series of steps you should always take:

  • Develop a base line
    • This can be as simple as calculating the mileage you drive and the amount of fuel used, or it can be done with sophisticated drive and duty cycle data collection tools, such as data loggers and GPS systems.
  • Select the technology you want to consider
  • Using a life cycle cost tool, determine the value your investment will return. Also recognize that there is the non-finance value of reduced GHG and criteria pollutants
    • Life cycle cost calculators vary in sophistication. GTA has both a robust and simple calculator available to members. National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Fleet DNA tool and the AFLEET tool, as well as many others, have life cycle cost calculators built into them.

Technology and Fuel Comparisons
While the GTA recognizes that comparison of benefits can be made with numbers derived from simple considerations of theoretical fuel cost differences and or estimated fuel savings, we recommend a more empirical approach.

The free tools available from NREL’s Fleet DNA, utilizing DRIVE and FastSim, or Argonne National Laboratory’s AFLEET Tool, offer the ability to get comprehensive comparative analysis.

The GTA is working with the NREL and has arranged for GTA members to provide their drive and duty cycle data and receive analysis. Currently, the GTA is beta testing this process with the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition within the City of Indianapolis' fleet using NREL and Argonne National Laboratory tools.