Monitoring programme to assess effect of low emission vehicles

| Transport

California Air Resources Board is using Ricardo to perform study on effects of new powertrain technology in commercial vehicles on air quality in the state.

Ricardo Strategic Consulting has been selected by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to monitor, collect, and analyse the data for heavy-duty vehicle projects funded under Air Quality Improvement Programme and the low carbon transport Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

The Air Quality Improvement Programme (AQIP) and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) are initiatives of CARB, and have seen significant investments since their inception in fiscal year 2014-15. A wide range of advanced technology demonstration projects have been carried out under these initiatives, all aimed at helping to pull forward Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) technology in the commercial vehicle and bus transport sectors.

CARB has awarded a contract to Ricardo to quantify the emission reduction benefits and performance of the advanced technology vehicles, compared to current conventionally fuelled vehicles. Ricardo will also assess the economic viability and commercialisation readiness of the advanced zero-emission technologies for wider adoption within the industry. The work will include the monitoring and analysis of over 140 advanced vehicles. Some of these will be based on battery electric powertrains, while others will feature technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, CNG range extenders, diesel plug-in hybrids and co-operative-intelligent transport systems across truck, bus and off-road applications.

To support the initiative, Ricardo will use both its proprietary total cost of ownership and quantitative adoption rate models, to assess the competitive positioning of the technology and the key steps towards their large-scale commercialisation.

“Data-driven assessment is essential to the accurate evaluation of performance, economic viability, commercial readiness and emissions reduction benefits of advanced new technologies,” commented Piyush Bubna, programme manager for the project at Ricardo Strategic Consulting. “It also allows an assessment of how these technologies can gain wider adoption across several commercial transport applications. The project will help California to identify the need for future investments and help guide future policy for advanced technology zero- and near zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles.”

“Ricardo is extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to perform this contract for the Air Resources Board,” added Marc Wiseman, president of Ricardo Strategic Consulting North America. “We look forward to supporting CARB and those in receipt of project funding as well as all those involved in the commercial vehicle industry – including fleet operators, vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure providers and utility companies – with data collection, analysis summaries and insights into the potential commercialisation opportunities for the new technologies assessed.”

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