The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) supports work to develop test procedures and carry out testing on a wide range of advanced vehicles and technologies through the Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA). This effort collects performance data from a wide range of light-duty alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles (all-electric, compressed natural gas, diesel, hybrid-electric, neighborhood-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and stop-start vehicles) as well as medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
The standard procedures and test specifications are used to test and collect data from vehicles on dynamometers and closed test tracks. Working with government, commercial, utility, and other industry fleets, the AVTA conducts on-the-road testing as well. In addition, it also tests components such as batteries and charging infrastructure.
The AVTA’s largest data set is from plug-in electric vehicle and charging infrastructure projects under the Transportation Electrification initative. Together, these projects make up the largest ever deployment of all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and charging infrastructure in the country. This information gathered by these projects supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help VTO and its community partners plan for the successful future deployment of plug-in electric vehicles including all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and their needed infrastructure.
These and other results provide benchmark data that researchers can use to develop technology models and guide future research and development. This unbiased information helps researchers build component, system, and vehicle models around real-world data, improving their accuracy and usefulness. VTO also uses this data in partnership with industry to set the targets described in VTO’s multi-year program plan and Technical Team Roadmaps. In addition to the basic data presented here, Clean Cities and the Alternative Fuels Data Center are using this data to improve their online tools to help fleet managers.
Infrastructure and Vehicle Component Data
In addition to vehicles, the AVTA tests charging infrastructure and vehicle components. It tests a number of types of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), including wireless charging, conductive EVSE, DC conductive EVSE, bi-directional transfer (vehicle-to-grid and grid-to-vehicle), and the readiness of the electric grid. Data sets on specific battery testing and demonstration are also available, including best practices for emergency responders developed based on those results. VTO also supports more in-depth battery testing for research and development purposes through its battery development, systems analysis and testing research area.
Fleet and Community Readiness
Through the AVTA, partners also analyze fleet and community readiness for plug-in electric vehicles, including military bases and National Parks Service Fleets.
Idaho National Laboratory leads these efforts in partnership with VTO. To carry out this research, they work with Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Powertrain Research Facility, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This site only provides highlights of the most recent data; Idaho National Laboratory’s AVTA site and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Fleet Testing page host the full archive back to 1994. The AVTA also works with more than 100 fleet testing partners in North America to jointly conduct fleet testing of advanced technology vehicles in real-world applications. Contact James Francfort at Idaho National Laboratory for more information.