The Zero+ Fleet Optimization and Feasibility Modeling Tool helps operations analyze their fleet’s power consumption and charging/fueling infrastructure to understand the changes needed to support a phased transition. - Photo: HDR

The Zero+ Fleet Optimization and Feasibility Modeling Tool helps operations analyze their fleet’s power consumption and charging/fueling infrastructure to understand the changes needed to support a phased transition.

Photo: HDR

HDR has upgraded its proprietary Zero+ Fleet Optimization and Feasibility Modeling Tool to evaluate fleets more precisely. The upgraded tool will better serve fleet owners making zero emissions transitions, with detailed analysis of power consumption and vehicle capabilities.

Working with international research and development consultant Mitacs and the University of Toronto, HDR integrated greenhouse gas emissions as an output capability and added new features to the fuel-neutral modeling tool, including GPS input capabilities, simulation models for vehicles from several OEMs, and the ability to adjust energy consumption based on year-round temperature data.

New Tool Helps Fleet Owners Evaluate the Zero Emissions Transition

The Zero+ Fleet Optimization and Feasibility Modeling Tool helps owners of public and private medium- and heavy-duty truck, bus and car fleets consider a transition to electric, hydrogen fuel cell, hybrid, or compressed natural gas (CNG). It helps them analyze their fleet’s power consumption and charging/fueling infrastructure to understand the changes needed to support a phased transition.

The tool’s tailored reports and recommendations lead to better informed decisions about fuel type, fleet size, routes, infrastructure, facilities, maintenance, and more. In a recent battery electric bus fleet transition evaluation, the Zero+ tool uncovered that en-route charging was a more cost-effective solution. Scenarios illustrated that en-route charging could support all on-street operations, and that it was more financially viable, conceivably saving $20 million in capital costs in addition to other advantages.

Customization Improves Scenario Accuracy

The enhanced tool uses a customized version of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Future Automotive Systems Technology Simulator (FASTSim) to provide vehicle energy consumption profiles using General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) and GPS vehicle data for enhanced accuracy.

Good Data Drives Informed Decision-Making

Incorporating operational fleet data, the tool provides in-depth analysis of operating, charging/fueling, and energy cost scenarios for each individual vehicle. That data rolls up the analysis to operations and maintenance facilities, garages and bases, and then applies that to the entire operation. The resulting outputs give fleet operators key data on the most efficient and effective way to convert to zero emissions. 

“We find that the ability to run iterative scenarios and the resulting detailed reports on projected energy usage, mileage capacity and recharging or refueling needs provide invaluable data that allows our clients to realistically consider the feasibility and operational viability of transitioning to zero emissions,” explained HDR’s Zero Emissions Mobility Practice Lead Rob Mowat. “Customizing the NREL FASTsim and incorporating GPS data makes it possible to provide this kind of actionable data for every type of fleet.”

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