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Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Nicholas Kehoe and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is on An Overview of the National Clean Fleets Partnership.
Before I go any further, I do want to let those of you who are calling into the teleconference for the audio know that you need to mute your computer speakers or else you will be hearing your audio over the computer as well.
Today we will have three presenters: Mark Smith, the National Clean Fleets Partnership program manager with the U.S. Department of Energy, Kevin Walkowicz with the National Renewable Energy Lab, and Keshav Sondhi with FedEx Express.
Mark Smith is the vehicle technologies deployment manager for the Department of Energy's national Clean Cities program. His responsibilities include developing outreach strategies for implementing new national partnerships between industry and the Clean Cities program to successfully deploy new vehicle technologies. He also works with the regional managers and individual Clean Cities coalitions to implement deployment strategies at the regional and local levels. In addition, he develops and maintains relationships with key stakeholders-including vehicle manufacturers, fuel suppliers, educational institutions, environmental groups, nonprofit associations, government agencies, and other related organizations-to expand the use of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.
Before joining DOE, Mark was an alternative fuel vehicle consultant to American Honda. In this position, he promoted the use of Honda's alternative fuel vehicles to public and private fleet managers and implemented programs to increase deployment of these vehicles. He also understands that alternative fuel vehicle deployment hinges upon the development of refueling infrastructure. From his previous positions with FuelMaker and Clean Energy, he has provided alternative refueling solutions ranging from home refueling of a single vehicle to some of the largest commercial, airport, and transit fueling stations in the United States.
Kevin Walkowicz is the Team Leader for Fleet Testing and Evaluation at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO and one of the Principle Investigators for the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity. His primary focus is on capturing, analyzing and reporting in-use data from advanced technology medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Prior to joining National Renewable Energy Laboratory in January 2001 he led fuel system and advanced evaporative emission control system development projects at General Motors Corporation at their Milford Proving Ground.
Keshav Sondhi is Manager for the Global Vehicles Asset Management group at FedEx Express. He is responsible for strategic and tactical fleet plans. His expertise is in the area of fleet optimization, which includes evaluating competing platforms (conventional, alternative) as well as vehicles within the same platform, for the parcel delivery industry. His work has included modeling and identifying the right vehicle for each mission type based upon economical as well as environmental merits. One of his primary roles includes continuously improving on the environmental impact of the vehicle fleet at FedEx.
His work of combining Business objectives with Sustainability goals at FedEx earned him the 2011 Aspen Institutes First Movers Fellowship. In association with the organization EMBARQ, he is sharing his expertise and knowledge of fleet management and environmental impact reduction with fleet operators in large cities like Mexico City.
Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speaker, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the chat area. Please make sure you send your question to "Everyone." The presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. If we run out of time and are unable to address all questions we will attempt to get written responses from the presenters to the unanswered questions.
The PowerPoint presentation used during the seminar is available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentation will also be available online within the next few weeks, along with a recording and a transcript. I will notify all attendees once these materials are posted online.
One final note: Talking Freight seminars are eligible for 1.5 certification maintenance credits for AICP members. In order to obtain credit for today's seminar, you must have logged in with your first and last name or if you are attending with a group of people you must type your first and last name into the chat box. I have included more detailed instructions in the file share box on how to obtain your credits after the seminar. Please also download the evaluation form from the file share box and submit this form to me after you have filled it out. While FHWA does not formally offer the professional development hour credits and will not provide proof of attendance, we have made an agenda available in the file download box that participants can use to self-certify and submit for credits on their own.
We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is on An Overview of the National Clean Fleets Partnership. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. Our first presenter will be Mark Smith of the U.S. Department of Energy and Mark, when you are ready you may begin.
Thank you Nicholas and thanks everybody for tuning in today. Hopefully this overview gives you a good understanding of the National Clean Fleets partnership which is where the Clean Cities program here at the DOE. It also shows you how we work closely with one of our labs, the DOE labs in Golden, Colorado where Kevin is from and a lot of the support work they do to help us here on the Clean Cities program and with the National Clean Fleets partnership and specifically some of Kevin's duties with drive cycle and duty cycle analysis. Finally, Keshav with FedEx Express, who is well-versed are stakeholders in Clean Cities and National Clean Fleets hardships, hopefully by the time you've gone through this, the three of us is with our jobs properly you will come away with a better understanding of how our programs all link together and hopefully the end of the day will ultimately help fleets like FedEx Express and others to deploy alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles into their fleets.
Let me get started. As I mentioned, our program, the National Clean Fleets partnership is part of the Department of Energy's Clean Cities program. They are not mutually exclusive programs. To understand the partnership I need to give you some history of Clean Cities. This year we are celebrating our 20th birthday we were born out of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the first coalition was started in 1993. The program was started in 1993 and since then we have developed a number of coalitions throughout the country. The goal of Clean Cities is to really work with fleets to help them reduce the amount of petroleum they are using the transportation sector. Here at DOE our program is housed in the Office of Vehicle Technologies as a lot of our colleagues here the are working on a lot of more near-term kind of R&D type of projects if you will just try to help get some of these new technologies and fuels out. For example, we have a group who works on batteries and battery technology and battery storage and how you get more range on the batteries and reduce the cost. We have another group is working on materials and light weighting of vehicles; in other words how you take some of the weight out of the vehicles to make the more fuel-efficient and yet obviously keep them safe. We have another group working on fuels and lubricants and another group working on vehicle system integrations and how to get all the stuff into a vehicle. Here Clean Cities, we like to think of ourselves as really that deployment arm of the Vehicle Technologies Office so once these advanced technologies and alternative fuels become deployable, we work with the public and private sector to help them get the vehicles on the road and also to help get the necessary refueling or recharging infrastructure in. Again the whole emphasis on how we reduce the amount of petroleum used the transportation sector, which ties into other things like our energy, economic and environmental security.
We accomplish this with a two-pronged approach, the local level or Clean Cities Coalitions I mentioned here, and I will get into more detail on those folks, and also here the national level from headquarters we try to manage a number of different programs to help make sure that the right tools and resources are in place for fleets to take advantage of. We also like to publicize the success of the program and to provide financial assistance. This has always a key part of the program, but that varies a little bit depending on budget and how the folks up on Capitol Hill are.
I mentioned that our metric is reducing petroleum and this graph illustrates some of our metrics from the 20 year history. We have played a part of Clean Cities and getting over 800,000 vehicles on the road, alternative fuel vehicles. By last count there are about 12,000 refueling and recharging infrastructure stations out there. Clean Cities has had a part of getting almost 3/4 of those being put in. Our long-term goal is to reduce petroleum on an annual basis by two and half billion gallons per year by 2020, and here we are in 2013 so it's not very far away. We do not have 2012 on there, but through 2011 we have been able to displace right about a little shy of four billion gallons. Again our goal is two and half billion gallons per year by 2020 or so by no means is our work over yet.
Often times I'm asked well, what type of fuel you guys push? Or what type of technology? It seems that those of us on the government side or in the fuel world, every administration going back to last three or four administrations tend to have their favorite fuel or technology they push, and I think this administration was heavy on EVs but we have heard that change over the course of the last year were it is the more of all of the above, and that is really our approach here at Clean Cities. It is not up to us to try to pick winners or losers were to try to tell a fleet but hey this is the fuel or technology you need to be using. Again it is to make the whole portfolio of fuels and technologies available and provide education and background. Hopefully a fleet manager if he is to make a good and informed choice about what would work best for his fleet. This is what is in our bag of tricks if you will, the alternative fuels are there on top left-hand corner which are the ones spelled out in the Energy Policy Act. Idle reduction continues to play a bigger part now than it has in the past several years. I think a lot of fleets, FedEx is one of those, we realize by turning these vehicles off you can save a lot of fuel. So we have tailored a lot of programs and have a new program that we introduced our coordinators to help them work with fleets and with the public on being able to reduce idle time and fuel.
Hybrids down the bottom right-hand side, hybrids and plug-in vehicles, we are all know you're there has been a tremendous amount of new product offerings into that segment of the market over the last couple of years and we continue to see more coming. And the top right-hand corner is on fuel economy. For the last five or 10 years, the internal combustion engine has gotten smaller and as a result it is more fuel-efficient. So we're seeing a lot of right sizing, if you will, where a fleet is realizing that maybe we do not need and E350 Ford van to do this particular job that we might be up to do it with a Ford Transit Connect. So we are downsizing the vehicle and still running a gasoline internal combustion vehicle but it is saving fuel because of the fact that it is not as heavy and not as thirsty for fuel is what was being replaced so the right sizing a fleet is another trend we have seen become more pop over the last couple of years because I think that is an easier one for fleets to try to adopt.
I mentioned the two-pronged approach, the local coalitions and the partnership development throughout the country. This map of the country touches on the 100 Clean City Coalitions throughout the country serving 80% of the population. Simply much any major metropolitan area or anywhere for the most part there's people with the Clean Cities coalition. And these folks are really the boots on the ground. These coordinators throughout the Clean City Coalitions are the ones working with the various stakeholders in their area. They're working with local and state governments, they are working with utilities, they're working with fleets from both the public and private sector, and they are working with fuel providers, engine manufacturers, and so on. There really the ones trying to pull these projects together to get vehicles on the road, alternative fuel and advanced biology vehicles on the road as they are really kind of experts in their area and terms of understanding who the players are, and what the environment is like in terms of any grants and funding opportunities am a so they are the ones who really get these projects pulled together.
It is interesting having these 100 coalitions out there because our Clean Cities coordinators who run these coalitions are not DOE employees however we do have a contractual obligation with them and are certain deliverables they have to satisfy for the contract. What is great about that is that they are able to do a lot of things we are not in many cases in terms of being able to do some lobbying at the federal level or at the state and local level. That is the strength they bring. It is interesting as well to note that because of the fact they are not DOE employees, they tend to have some different organizational structures and how they operate. Many are set up as nonprofits, as 501(c)(3)s, and I have a one of our Clean Cities Coalitions and Ohio whose business is growing and has about a staff of one dozen people who work for them. Other Clean Cities Coalitions are housed and councils of governments, some are in energy offices, and so on. So they take on many different forms in terms of their organizational structure. But their mission at the end of the day is still the same.
This is just a quick snapshot here for couple of our coalitions we have on our website, cleancities.energy.gov, you can go there and get a wealth of information which I will share in a couple more slides. You can click on to a certain state and find out who your Clean Cities coordinator is, it is snapshot on what is happening in that state in terms of number of alternative vehicles on the road, stations and that type of thing. This is for Chris Rice who was our Maryland coordinator, Alleyn Harned runs the state of Virginia coalition and this is Ron Flowers who does the greater Washington DC coalition. All of our coordinators are on there and also a link to their own website. I mentioned that one of the things that we really try to do is try to help educate and we do that through a number of outreach and education mechanisms and other tools. Those are on the Clean Cities website, but we also have another website called the AFDC, Alternative Fuel Data Center. Also up there is a fuel economy guide, fueleconomy.gov which is probably more popular for the retail consumer but it allows people to go online and compare fuel economy of vehicles, compare in emissions ratings in that type of thing so it is a good way to do homework before making a vehicle purchase.
One of the other things we have is that like everyone we do a lot of stuff online, but we still believe that one of the things that makes Clean Cities successful for the years as people doing business with people. We do have a technical response service to get people in touch with the person to get an answer to a question. For example if someone's boss says hey I need to know something about this type of technology or alternative fuel or these laws and incentives, they can easily be found on our website and if not we can get an answer through our technical response service quickly. These are some of the tools and publications that are on the alternative fuel data center and I will not a lot of time on these but I will call your attention to a couple more popular ones.
One of the more popular ones would be in the middle of the page here, the Alternative Fuel Station Locator. This has a listing of every alternative fuel station in the country, liquefied natural gas, biofuels, propane, all of that is listed on that website. That allows someone to do is to go on and make a request and plug-in the address. Say my business is located at 123 ABC Street in Dayton, Ohio and I want to know where the natural gas stations are located within a 20 mile radius. I can go on and enter the information and that will come up. Or someone wants to map a trip and to drive a propane vehicle from Richmond, Virginia to Newark, New Jersey; it will show where the refueling stations are.
Some of the bigger fleets take advantage of using the public infrastructure is much as they can; they can go onto the website on a regular basis and do a complete download. So for example AT&T operates close to 6,000 natural gas vehicles and with an exceptional one station in California, all those vehicles are fueled a public infrastructure. So it is up to them to really keep on top of what is happening out there in terms of what the new infrastructure is coming on. So they go under our station locator every month and do a complete download of where all of the new stations are at so they can look at how that might impact their deployment.
Laws and incentives search. This will give you a breakout of not only what incentives are happening at the federal level, but you can also do a state-by-state search. So if you have a fleet and you operate in a certain state or states and you have heard about maybe incentives for EVs or for natural gas vehicles you can do a state-by-state search and you can customize so if you want to know just about EVs or just about biofuels, you can customize your search. The last one, this is what you will hear more about Kevin which is our petroleum production planning tool. I think that Keshav will back me up, but as a fleet manager there are so many more choices for the fleet manager to use in terms of the alternative fuels and advanced technologies. So how to figure out what is ones work best for you? This tool is not made to give you an etched in granite roadmap, it does help narrow the choices a bit because it allows the fleet manager to go in and kind of plug-in your own metrics about their fleet they have one and if not it is already pre-populated with some data. They can do some different what-if scenarios, going back to that slide I showed earlier of the different fuels and technologies so a fleet manager might think I have this segment of my fleet that is a lot of idling. What if I were able to introduce an idle reduction technology- what would I give me for fuel savings? There is a certain segment of my fleet do a stop and go so what would hybrids do for me? That would help narrow that down bit but we realize oftentimes it takes more than that, This next step is a lot of what Kevin does that you hear about during his presentation.
Here are some publications we have done through the years. You can see that we have got propane basics, national gas basics. We have these for all of the fuels so if you want to use for quick overview of EVs or hybrids or propane and natural gas, we have those. We have a guide to medium and heavy-duty vehicles, fuel and advanced fuel technologies, we also have a light duty vehicle buyers guide, and we are working on the conversion market for natural gas and propane vehicles, CARB regulations and EPA regulations so we are working on a buyer's guide for that to help answer some of those questions and provide a good one-stop shopping resource for someone can come to understand the options I want to these CARB and EPA regulations mean how do you make sure that if you're going to be converting vehicles you are doing it so that it meets all of the various guidelines and regulations.
As I mentioned early on, we really like to promote the success of our stakeholders. For the last 12 years we have had a very good working relationship with the folks at Motor Week which is produced by Maryland Public TV. It is a weekly program shown on all the public TV stations throughout America and it is also shown on what used to be the HD net it is now the Velocity channel. We have a lot of these success stories of fleet and what they have been able to do and those are highlighted on the Motor Week program and also on our website. Again you can go on and search those by market segments if you're interested in what is happening at airports or what is happening with long-haul trucking or what about a specific fuel or technology, you can search those on the website as well. Again people like myself and Kevin to talk about a lot of this stuff but if the fleet manager hears it from another fleet manager then it tends to resonate and has a lot more creditability behind it sometimes. This is been a good tool to help success of many of our stakeholders.
Financial assistance is something that obviously we know is very important. These vehicles have a higher incremental cost than their gasoline or diesel counterparts and then there is the issue of getting the necessary refueling or recharging infrastructure. Throughout the years without opportunities available to again help offset some of these costs. Unfortunately the last couple of years with budgets being what they are we not been able to find anything on the vehicle or infrastructure side, we've been it was a do some planning things that I will talk about those in a second.
This shows you that we were fortunate enough to a lot of other folks were to get some of the Reinvestment Recovery Act funding and so we funded 25 different projects throughout the country. You can see this project; it was diverse in terms of geography and also very diverse in terms of alternative fuels. This was other funding done before the Recovery Act, again, to show that when we do have the money available what we try to do to make sure that we get the vehicles and infrastructure out there. This is just a quick summary of what we were able to fund, so on a refueling infrastructure you can see it is just shy of about 2,000 stations including EV chargers, and in terms of vehicles, it was just over 9,000 vehicles that we were able to get on the road as a result of the Recovery Act funding. You can see we had EVs, CNGs, neighborhood electric vehicles, hybrids, a little bit of everything. I showed this slide not too long ago and someone asked a question about the number of EVs being so low. Keep in mind when the Recovery Act funding was coming out, that was almost 4 years ago, so again there was not a lot of choices other than in terms of what was commercially ready to go as there were today. I'm sure that had these Recovery Act projects funded today you would see that EV number and probably the hybrid number be a little higher than they are.
These are some recent awards and I mention the last couple of years we have not had enough money to really do anything meaningful enough on the vehicle and infrastructure sites we try to look at planning and community readiness. These efforts focus on what you need to have it to some of the different barriers down, whether political, market development barriers, code issues, safety training, and so on. So that is what some of these awards for the last couple of years have been all about.
Now, I was really going somewhere with this and that was the National Clean Fleet Partnership. This was announced by President Obama in April 2011 so it is coming up on two years now. This came about because I show you that big map of the country that we are proud of what all the red dots were our coalitions are at, but as we go and talk to large national fleets such as FedEx or others, kind of the thing or the response we got from all of them was that it's great you have 100 Clean Cities coalitions, we do not have 100 fleet managers throughout the country. We may have fleet managers in the cities with you, but they are not making decisions about fuels in the vehicle deployments and replacements; those decisions are done at corporate so how do we work with you guys?
We needed a better mechanism for these groups to work with us so the National Clean Fleet Partnership was how that came about. There are also a lot of other benefits to the partnership as well. There are a number of things that we think first and foremost are the partners, the national fleets that have made these commitments for the last couple of years to make meaningful deployments of these vehicles and not just do demonstration projects, really serve as pacesetters as my colleague likes to call them. They really help to demonstrate other fleets, whether it is their large national counterparts, regional or local fleets that these things might just work. If FedEx can use it or if AT&T can use it, then maybe there is a way for it to work for me. We hope this will help them say that it can work for me and demonstrate that there is a business case for it. Also it helps with the necessary refueling and recharging infrastructure in an oftentimes with alternative fuels get into this chicken and the egg problem, but if you can get some of the bigger fleets that will help get some of the infrastructure in, then maybe it does make it will be easier for some of the local or regional fleets to come behind and deploy the vehicles and take advantage of using some of that infrastructure.
There are a lot of things we can do with big fleets with the power of a lot of big numbers behind them in terms of number of vehicles. A couple of things where looking at is things like R&D and the consolidated vehicle sales. Not that the DOE to get involved with purchasing of vehicles and negotiating contracts with OEMs, to the extent that we can help bring the fleet together and everybody can understand it's the same platform that is used by PG&E is the same as AT&T or Verizon. By getting this posted at or they can demonstrate to an OEM or engine manufacturer that there is a need and a business case to offer that vehicle with a certain type of alternative fuel or certain type of technology. I mention the infrastructure development, I would have seen that happen quite a bit already where we have a number of the large, national fleets were using public infrastructure where they can. Many of them, let's say AT&T who are in the telecom business and not the business of building infrastructure, to the extent that they can really take advantage of a lot of the existing infrastructure out there or help build that business case for somebody to build a new infrastructure, knowing that many of these fleets will use it, is really helping to drive the market and again to help get more of the other fleets to follow along.
One of the things that are popular not only with our online tools is technical assistance through national labs. We do that not only what you see from the AFDC site but also a number of industry experts that we could help bring in to assess the problem, and then we also have the ability to do some of the things that Kevin will talk about with some of the drive cycle and duty cycle analysis. A lot of it is hands-on and understanding that the challenges we might face in one fleet are different than those that face another fleet so kind of customizing this and working with the national partners and understand what their appointment plans are and what their petroleum reduction plans are and what some of the challenges and roadblocks are they are facing that we might be able to help them with.
This is a list of the national partners that we have. We are up to 20 national partners. This is a program that we have tried to really be careful on how we grow from the standpoint again that we want to make sure that we are able to kind of provide the hands-on assistance and really be able to understand what they are doing, and bring our resources to help out. It is not as I call it a subscription program where someone just goes online and signs up and we send them Clean Cities decals for their truck but it is working with them one-on-one and understanding their challenges and help them meet those challenges.
This follows along with some of the technical problem solving assistance and I think this one got out of order little bit, but again it goes back to some of the things that we try to do it Clean Cities to address technical issues. Whether it is safety issues, addressing chronic issues you might see in the field with either vehicles or stations or recharging equipment or that type of thing. It ties into what we do with our labs of a lot of industry experts that we can bring in to help out with the things.
Finally, I will wrap it up; there was a lot to cover. This is my contact information. These are links to some of the sites and resources I mentioned earlier. With that Nick I will turn it back over to you.
Thank you Mark. Will now begin our second presentation from Kevin National Renewable Energy Lab. I will bring up your presentation and when you're ready you may get started.
Thank you Nicholas. As Mark just talked about, there are a lot of DOE activities that can be helpful to the National Clean Fleet Partner. Three areas that might be beneficial from my perspective are field testing, data collection and analysis, and the tools and data being developed by the national labs.
These activities drill down a little deeper than some of the tools that Mark discussed and are meant to obtain and characterize information and data for the fleets and a more detailed level. Some of these activities are happening at other national labs such as Oak Ridge National Lab and Argonne National Lab, but I am going to talk mostly about activities at NREL which the primary DOE lab for medium and heavy fleet activities.
For the medium and heavy duty field testing and evaluation efforts, we have historically looked at a lot of different options and have published a lot of case studies, including case studies on CNG, and B20 vehicles. More recently we are looking at electric and hydraulic hybrids. Most of these studies look at fuel consumption differences between new and existing technologies and trying to understand the differences with emissions, maintenance and operational costs, as well as reliability. These are true for all the case studies that we conduct, we look at those areas. Information on all of these types of studies can be found on the web. I think there are maybe 12 or 15 of them up there right now and I could give you the long URL or you can Google NREL fleet and it will pop up and take you right to the fleet evaluation section. As part of these studies will also dig a little deeper into understanding battery life and looking more closely at some of the EV deployment issues trying to understand what it takes to deploy large numbers in one location.
For all of the studies, the National Clean Fleet partners are prime candidates as they all have significant operations in investing and many of the same technologies that DOE is funding. The medium duty and heavy duty collection and analysis activity is primarily focused on capturing and reporting data on projects that were funded and deployed by the Recovery Act funds. Mark mentioned the Clean Cities Recovery Act funding and I will be talking about some of the data we're collecting from Smith, Navistar, and Cascade Sierra. These were funded under the Transportation Electrification Grant, or Recovery Act funds which was a different solicitation than the Clean Cities. The last thing I wanted to discuss today is some of the tools available to the fleets and they were developed to help understand that it is out there or data on a specific fleet and how it might help make some calculated decisions for the fleet.
The first example of some of the field testing or the first part want to talk about a study we completed with UPS and their hybrid electric delivery vans. This report was published last year and basically talks about the hybrid electric propulsion system. It was built into the UPS delivery vans and we did an 18 month study which looked at fuel economy and maintenance records. We also got data off of the engine and control unit including fuel consumed, mileage, percent idle, and we were able to look at the GPS route data logging, we also brought vehicles in and tested them on our chassis dynamometer. Again, we looked at 11 hybrids versus 11 convention units, both of the same model year, and we look at these in Minneapolis.
Just to give an example of the type of information that we tried to get out of the studies and relay back to some of the fleet managers. A lot of our effort is focused on how the vehicles are being used. So the usage, and looking at how to select laboratory test cycles. You can kind of see in these two charts the variation observed in this one location. And try to understand this variation in the on road behavior will provide a good understanding which test cycles to use.
In these charts, each individual dot here is an operational data of the vehicle and the black, larger shapes of the test cycles were elected. And we usually look at about five different metrics to select these test cycles. We have to look and analyze a lot of different ways to help the fleet understand the right test cycle to be looking at for the application.
Once we have kind of thoroughly documented and analyzed the usage, we try to bring the vehicles of the laboratory and with the differences between the new and old vehicle and a controlled laboratory setting. This slide, the trucks that we studied were tested on three cycles chosen from the data and it shows you that you can kind of see the results on these three cycles, the hybrid advantage over the old vehicle, and you can kind of see the variation that you might expect from that data that we saw. We looked at those of them on both a ton-mile per gallon basis and on a pure mile per gallon basis. Just to mention this, I think the on road results during our 18 month study or short about a 20% average improvement. You can read the full report again on the website if you're interested. The next example was the work that we did with FedEx on their HEV box trucks and delivery vans. The box trucks shown in the upper left have the same hybrid system is UPS delivery van. The FedEx delivery vans had a gasoline equipped three-way catalyst as your hybrid system installed in them. When we look at the emissions versus the efficiency trade-offs, obviously the gasoline engine which we hope to be little bit cleaner but the efficiency difference was a concern so we want to see other things balanced out. For the box trucks were right mainly interested in how the hybrid system performed in a heavier weight class and working at a different cycle of the UPS delivery van.
For the box trucks we tested the two different vehicles, again in the laboratory and as expected the hybrid showed a variation in hybrid benefits. Primarily driven by the duty cycles up to a 31% improvement in the city cycle and not a lot of difference when tested on a cycle which represented the most predominantly highway cycle that we saw in use for these vehicles. Again, the cycles were chosen based on how we observed the vehicles being used in the field.
We also dig a little bit deeper into the on road observation on road measurements that we make and try to look at how fuel economy is affected by everyday driving. You can see the range of driving speed versus fuel economies for both sets of vehicles, the hybrid is in the red and the conventional is in blue. I think we want to look at this in a couple different ways in order to fully understand the performance of the vehicles and be able to provide some of this information back to some of the National Clean Fleet partner fleets.
Looking at the FedEx delivery van, we are able to select three cycles again based on observations in the field. Here you can kind of see that these three cycles and their kinetic intensity which we used quite often as a measure of speed and acceleration, but again, not a lot of benefit for the hybrids down on the left, urban cycles. A little bit of benefit here on the New York City cycle. But again keep in mind this vehicle - was a gasoline hybrid versus a diesel conventional so the differences in the engine probably were made up some of the hybrid system but only in the most urban of the cycles.
And this gray area kind of shows where we observed the vehicles operating in the field and you can see maybe with potential differences, and I think that during our study time, the infield result showed not really a statistically significant difference in fuel economy. So trying to understand how those vehicles operate in different environments and on different duty cycles, you can kind of understand what the best application for the vehicle might be.
As I mentioned, one thing of interest on this study was really the emissions benefits for these vehicles other were deployed in Southern California so emissions were of high interest. You can see that any loss of efficiency from using the gasoline engine was replaced by large improvement in emissions in NOX, CO, total hydrocarbon, a PM on all the cycles so there's always a trade-off of benefits for a lot of the options of the fleets are looking at. Our approach on all of these case studies is to try to tell the whole story for fuel economy, emissions, reliability, and total operating costs.
One new study that we are just kicking off right now is looking at hydraulic hybrids in the UPS fleet. This is a technology that is of interest, but we will be looking at 20 hydraulic hybrids versus 20 conventional and trying to run them on similar routes to avoid having to switch the routes around. But again, it will follow some of our standard protocol and gathering fuel economy and maintenance records on all the vehicles, image data on a monthly basis, doing some dynamometer testing, and analyzing it on a monthly basis service records, warranty, driver logs, downtime availability and also road calls and the reasons for the road calls. But again try to paint a total picture of how the vehicles operate, what they're costing, and what some of the issues are.
So another new evaluation that we are kicking off, it is a case study to look at the Smith electric vehicles being deployed by Frito Lay. And really trying to understand how they are functioning compared to the existing vehicle. This will be a case study, hopefully at two different distribution centers. We will compare the EVs versus some comparable 2010 diesel vehicles. This study will focus on the installation experience and what to get those vehicles into use, overall cost, again conventional versus EVs and try to do some infield battery testing to understand battery degradation and range issues, and then looking at use patterns and gather information the vehicle building opportunities that might start to look at some of the demand charge issues. I think that we will talk about that more detail but they're also looking at how the vehicles are affecting the grid and integrating with the grid and showing effects of plugging large batteries on multiple vehicles at one location at the same time into the grid.
So I mentioned the battery life prediction and I thought I would mention this again. A lot of fleets with this EV deployment are interested in how the battery will degrade over time. There are a few life models developed for both the battery manufacturers as some of the vehicle manufacturers as well as of the national labs. But, the models are pretty general and what we're trying to do is feed it some specific information to try to refine those models for a particular application or deployment. I will not get into these charts, but these showed two of the main drivers might be temperature, different degradation curves due to different temperature application and also depth of discharge as a big factor and how long your batteries last. If you go in and look as of these case studies and you try to measure those things you can try to plug that back into the model and help fleets understand whether their battery is going to last whatever it is that they advertise, more, or less than that.
The Recovery Act data analysis that we're doing, I wanted to mention that a lot of the National Clean Fleets partners are involved with this these again are part of the Transportation Electrocution Grant. There were 4 awards in the medium and heavy-duty truck area. Smith, Navistar, South Coast, and Cascade Sierra, I will mention two of them that I thought were relevant to this seminar; the Smith and a Cascade. Typically were collecting data on every truck, every minute, or in this case every second they are being operated, we are collecting about 30 channels of data. We are producing these data analysis products based on the data we are collecting. Quarterly reports will be publishing all of these to help inform other fleets that are either using or considering using these vehicles. And again, these are found on our website and publish on a quarterly basis.
So the first example of this work is the Smith vehicles. There will be 500 of these trucks deployed throughout the US and over 300 of them are on the road already today. Some of the partners using these trucks are many of the National Clean Fleet partners, Frito Lay, Coca-Cola, Staples, FedEx, they are all using these trucks. What we're trying to do is aggregate data from all 500 of these vehicles eventually and a publish them, this publication shown here is a four-page document who have put out a lot of the usage metrics and some of the analysis of some of the data. Again these can all be found on our website.
The other project from transportation electrification is the Cascade Sierra project. They are installing truck stop electrification pedestals at as many as 50 sites around the country. They are also deploying rebates up to 5,000 users looking at a number of different types of hardware for idle reduction purposes. Again we will be collecting data from the users and from the site and trying to tally that up and looking at how they are being used, how much energy is being used or how much fuel is being saved, greenhouse gases avoided, when and what time are the charging stations and electrification stations being used and we just started collecting this data and would have to get the first report out probably in March. But again just trying to inform the users some of the fleets that are out there who are considering this technology.
Really quick couple of the tools we have developed to help OEMs and fleets understand the big picture. One of them is called Fleet DNA. It is a DOE funded online tool developed by partnership with Oak Ridge National Labs and it will help compile all the medium and heavy-duty truck usage metrics from a variety of sources. Phase 1 will be out of the next week or so and that is just kind of a presorted data set and you can click on what sort of truck you want to know about and it shows the analysis we have done on those data sets. Phase 2 is a more customizable sorting function and you could just pick what types of trucks you want to include in your data set. Then you can plot in a couple different ways depending on what you want to access. That should be out in the next couple of months.
So some of the benefits for this Fleet DNA tool, and some of the National Clean Fleet partner fleets will be contributed data to this in some using this to understand their operations and how they compare to the national average, but OEMs will hopefully use this to understand their customer use profile, funding agencies might use it to understand how the vehicles are being used and what sort of impacts there are financially, and that researchers can use this as a source of data for modeling. This slide shows kind of a real brief overview of the data that we have and I'm hoping to get. This box here is data that would have already and we're hoping to get into phase 1. These two boxes, we have some of this now but we are still sorting it out and we hope to get that out soon, and we hope to gather more information on these types of vehicles in the near future. Our priorities are really fuel consumption and payback, if there's a lot of good chance at ROI return on investment success and even if they don't, if it is scalable or transferable we would still be interested in gathering data for those types of vehicles.
Another tool I thought I would mention really quick is called DRIVE and we have used this on all of our projects that I just talked about. It is available on our website for fleets to use. It hopefully lets a fleet manager and put their specific data and then provides over 150 different metrics on the data set, as to histograms, scatter plots, can create custom cycles, and it can recommend standard cycles other right now or tell you what standard cycle your database likely looks like. It tries to take a lot of the guesswork on analyzing and creating cycles.
The last tool I wanted to mention is called FASTSim. There are a lot of simulation tools other right now.. We have developed this to develop or specifically help out some of our fleet studies and it runs in Excel and it can run through a different drive cycles. You can run for each day of operation and you can look at all the what-if scenarios associated with deploying different technology in specific routes or different truck types. Again it helps understand the effect of the variability you might see in a fleet or different types of trucks and the expected performance of some of the different technologies. It can tell you I could be effect of mass on fuel economy for your application or maybe some of the aerodynamic improvements and what that would do for your application. Or even look at EV versus diesel behavior for the different days of operation.
I think the last slide I have is just an example of what we have done with the National Clean Fleet partners: Verizon. Just trying to help bring together everything I talk about with some of the tools and capabilities that we have and try to give a quick assessment to them to identify the best technology for their application. We went in a gathered data from 40 of their boom trucks and I think maybe 30 or 40 of their class III service vans operating in three different locations. We provided metrics and analysis to help them strategically deployed the vehicles in their fleet they were interested in some of their new technologies, and we were able to provide recommended drive cycles for further analysis and testing.
We're hoping all this data can be used with FASTSim to look at some of the different technologies they are interested in the able to assess those on the actual drive cycle that we observed during the study. So I think that is all I have. But it's kind of a brief summary of the projects and tools that we are hoping to use in collaboration with the National Clean Fleet partners. If you have any questions please let me know or feel free to get in touch with me at that e-mail address listed here and I would be happy to talk with you more during
Thank you Kevin. Will now begin our final presentation by Keshav Sondhi with FedEx Express. When you're ready you may begin.
Thank you Nicholas. Thank you all for attending this webinar and also thank you to Chip and Mark for inviting FedEx to this webinar and as the slide indicates my name is Keshav Sondhi and I am responsible for the total lifecycle of vehicles as well as aircraft ground support equipment. Fedex Express was founded in 1971. Our most recent revenues are $42 billion. We ship about 8.5 or 9 million packages and parcels each day and we serve 220 countries and have more than 290,000 team members. Our total aircraft fleet is about 700 aircraft we have about 90,000 motorized vehicles. The chart on the left indicates the holding corporation of FedEx Corporation in the middle and in the ring on the outskirts you have all of the subsidiaries. I represent FedEx Express and it is in box on the top. We are the world's largest express delivery company.
FedEx is a transportation company and in the process of transporting stuff or delivering packages and parcels, we use, I would say quite a bit of energy. Like any other logistical support network, we travel a lot of miles with the total miles that are at about 1 billion or more. So there are a lot of miles and the concept of environmental and energy security is certainly of prime importance to us here. Our mantra is to connect the world responsibly. The oil price shocks can wreak havoc on our supply chain. Just this morning I got the EIA notification e-mail that diesel today is at its highest price as it was in the last five years so we're back up again and we are at the highest dollars per gallon in the last five years. These figures are dependent on oil producing nations and it really distorts our foreign-policy. We monitor our fuel consumption aggressively and to that end we came up with a specific goal. To monitor all of the fuel we use as a metric with the goal in 2008 to improve the fuel efficiency of our fleet by 20% by the year of 2020. We are also part of the National Clean Fleet Partnership.
This slide talks about how we are going about this and as again I said, we rely on quite a bit of energy so how do we ensure that we use the most optimal energy source today and also create a pathway for the future? We look at two different facets. One is how do we use the existing technology the best way we can? How do we best use the existing technology while at the same time keeping an eye on the future and working toward future power plants and energy sources? There is always that better, and never the best equipment available but always a chance for improvement. But how do we not forget about today and really use what we use in the most efficient way.
That is, do where we get the biggest bang for our buck, using existing technology and that is exactly what we have done. Using today's technology causes the advantage of reducing fuel consumption by tens of millions of gallons annually. I'll explain this more later, but this is basically identifying what we do and right sizing the tool for our job. How we optimize that truck? That is a big segment of how we do and how we have improved the fuel economy for the fleet in the last few years.
This is a brief timeline of the FedEx history. FedEx is an organization started in 1971 so just about 40 years old. Since the beginning we have been using energy so we have always been looking for the best way to use energy. We are rolling those wheels on asphalt and concrete and so how do we roll those wheels in the most efficient and economical way? To that end, in 1992 we did a big test that lasted up until 1994 where we compared all different fuel technologies and powertrains available at that time and that included the natural gas vehicles, LPG/propane vehicles, and we also had EVs at that time, and we also tested reformulated gasoline which is contemporary gasoline.
In this test we compared 200 trucks in the LA area. We tried to identify what gives us the most efficient mechanism to roll those tires on the roadways. The highlight of that operation was that the electric motors powering vehicles is basically the most efficient mechanism. We put energy into these and motors they will churn out 85% or 90% of the energy into the wheels. If we go to other paths, whether it is natural gas or conventional engines, it is down into 20% or 25% range. The electric motor produces the biggest bang for our buck. A lot of our efforts have been trying to incorporate the electric motor into our driveline. Be it a blended scenario or a complete holistic scenario, be it hybridized or complete battery electric vehicle.
One of the things I mentioned that has the highest potential opportunity for fleets, whether it is us or any of the fleets, is really identifying what works and what kind of equipment you need for each individualized drive cycle. Basically if you look at the top left side, there is the iconic FedEx truck and a lot of parcel delivery companies use this kind of iconic truck. There is an advantage to it, but it does take quite a bit of energy to pull this kind of truck. We started looking at fuel efficiency and the gallons it takes to operate; we created different mathematical models with different heuristics and scenarios. Our situation was that we have this existing fleet and ages and ready for a replacement cycle, what do we replace it with? Are we going to buy the same truck all over again or is there something else we can do differently? So those mathematical models started to give us all the indicators on what needs to be done given what fuel was at that time and given what drive cycles we operate. This is a very simplistic representation of what those models told us. It says that those large trucks are absolutely required, but they are required on certain drive cycles and a lot of the drive cycle don't need the utility of that vehicle. So we started working through other cycles. We started to identify at the route level what we needed to buy. The subsequent tens of thousands of trucks we have bought and deployed have been targeted to a specific route we have bought and deployed are targeted to specific routes and that gives us the biggest bang for our buck.
The iconic FedEx truck is on the upper left-hand side with a hybridized drivetrain. Also, the EVs and others on the left-hand side of the slide represent urban drive cycles. On the extended routes where we are driving 50 or 60,000 miles per year or a couple hundred or 300 or 400 miles per day, there is a direct proportionality on how many packages we can carry when we are delivering these extended routes. So right sizing the engine and also the box size is what has given us the biggest bang for the buck.
Again briefly I will talk about how does a fleet go about defining what the duty cycles are? It is about energy requirements; what am I going to do, what kind of work am I doing, where is the utility, how many pounds of stuff am I carrying, how many cubic feet are required? Those analytics are very important here, i.e. those are the primary things to look at even before looking at all of the energy alternatives. We could have the best fuel and pricing on fuel, but if we stop optimizing the drive line it goes against the principles of what we want to do by minimizing consumption. What do I need to do and subsequent to that, what kind of energy source do I need to do all those kinds of things. The first topic is about power. They were going to the fuel requirements and what kind of drive cycle we need to use. Again, the primary driver for this power energy discussion is conservation. Irrespective of the fuel we use, what do we need to haul the stuff in our duty cycle? Whether it be natural gas, diesel today or electric motors, if we have a sub-optimized driveline it goes against the principles of what we are trying to do.
The first discussion is how much do we need to carry and where do we carry it. What are the gradient levels we need to carry it on? We work with national laboratories, we work with engineering firms, we work ourselves to really identify at the truck level on the route level what it is we are hauling and that makes the biggest difference. This basically shows a representation of a presentation, and Kevin also showed similar charts from NREL analytics. This is a route with velocity profile of a truck in Manhattan: how many kilometers per hour it was traveling, how many stops, how many accelerations and deceleration rates, etc. Whether it is the limitation on the electric motors or conventional motors, where do these existing ones cap out and what we need to do to get into something different? The advantage of FedEx as a company is that we can drive a market because of the tens of thousands of units we have in the fleet. Given the advantage, it is also our responsibility to drive a market, to create a need and a market for more optimal solutions and this is been a core functionality as most of the asset management principles that we have been doing for the last five to seven years; creating a market for more optimized solutions.
This slide focuses on duty cycles and I know we discussed some of these duty cycles during the NREL presentation. The chart in the middle is FedEx in New York duty cycle and how does it compare versus some other standard duty cycles? How does the FedEx cycle compare? We are given a quick portfolio of a kind of engines should be operating with different of transmissions and can review how they will operate on different duty cycles.
Having obtained a very good understanding of how our tens of thousands of trucks were operating on a daily basis, we then said what can we do to make it better? We need a numeric index. We need a metric to know what we're doing today and where we can go from here. We set out in 2008 and created a metric that says to improve the fuel economy of a fleet by 20% from 2020. The benchmark we took was 2005 when we started all these major analytics. From 2005 to 2020 our target was to improve the fuel efficiency of the fleet 20% by 2020.
As of about a year ago we've already achieved 16.6 percent so that in less than half the time we gave ourselves we have accomplished more than 80% of our target. Is this point in time we will most likely be reevaluating the 2020 goal and saying what can we do next? We have achieved this and we know how we have performed, this gives us an advantage of maybe doing some more.
The optimization of conventional fuels is certainly worth a lot. We would like to continue to be the market leader in creating a need and deploying alternative technologies. But at the same time, conventional fuels are still quite a bit of the chunk of the fuels we use. About 80% of the miles that we operate in today are not much conducive to alternative vehicles. Currently the hybrids are useful in the dense urban environments, but most of our miles are not traveled in those environments. Conventional fuels in the near future are certainly going to be a big portion of optimizing those 80% of our miles and diesel is still the mainstay of primary fuels. How do we squeeze every mile out of each gallon of fuel?
This goes back to the slide we showed earlier; in dense urban environments where there is high package volume and there are few stops, we need the cubic capacity, but as we start hitting the highway there is an inverse proportion. One of the things we did was to bring these euro-vans into the United States. They have a shorter life than traditional ones we are accustomed to but the fuel advantages, the powertrain advantages, outweigh most of the gains we had from longer life vehicle. Having 100 percent better fuel economy when fuel is over $4.00 per gallon, those pros outweigh all the cons that we have especially in those particularly identified route cycles. Work with different OEMs and also different drive trains within OEMs. We have had extensive experience with these type of vehicles in a global marketplace as we are a global operator we have tens of thousands of vehicles operating globally has given us the understanding and the learning of the data and we know from them how we can operate and where we can operate. Most of the US manufacturers who are bringing these here now are based on their European or international models.
The iconic FedEx truck, the W700 as we call it, primary is between the 16,000 to 19,000 pound GVW truck and haul about 6000 pounds. The one distinct disadvantage is most of the manufacturers stuck to 5 or 6 liter engines. Having an engine power plant that can give you 200 or 250 horse power that was based on our assessment was just way too much. One of the alternatives as a replacement cycle is identifying how much power does the vehicle really need to haul? One of the potential replacements we have identified now is the Isuzu Reach or Utilimaster vehicle. This vehicle has a 3.0 liter engine and that has enabled us to scale away and get 35 to 40% better fuel economy than the traditional vehicles and it gives the same utility. It has more to it than just the engine as it also has composite panels. Really the shining point and the thing that makes it stand out truly is that optimized three liter optimized engine. Understanding that as we go through our replacement cycles we know a fleet has to be replaced at a certain time. What other vehicles can we substitute them with? This is a good example of having a good opportunity to replace some of those older diesel trucks with trucks that give us better fuel economy.
We have certainly worked with the hybrids and this slide has some of those: the FCCC Eaton, Ford Azure, and Iveco hybrid. I will pass through these rather quickly because I think that less than 15 minutes left.
One of the evaluations we were talking about are the one of this vehicle is the same driveline that is in the 19,000 pound hybrids. This is a particular interest to us, having the ability to scale the 6+ liter engine and having an electric motor hauling 32,000 pounds is certainly of great interest to us and that is what we're trying to evaluate. How do we benchmark against the conventional straight truck we have in the fleet, and under urban driving conditions what are the benefits that we can gain?
Electric vehicles, it was clear the beginning and it is still clear to us that electric motors will cause great advantages. The question is how we go about doing that? Taking a few steps back and looking at the entire project and understanding what needs to happen to make electric vehicles more mainstream, what we understood was we said we need to have great vehicles for the utility and reliability, but at the same time we also need to develop the entire ecosystem. Electric vehicles will include chargers, we will have to work with the FedEx Safety and Property groups, and all other stakeholders. We segregated our electrification program into two distinct programs. On the left hand side we're trying to assist the development of the truck and a truck technology itself. On the right-hand side is how we get those trucks charged in the best fashion that we can. There will be more details about that shortly. The EV testing: in order to assist in the development of the trucks and the technology itself, we have trucks from almost every major manufacturer produced in the US, and also quite a few global locations also. Almost every major manufacturer of electric vehicle is in our fleet and we are evaluating those trucks and we are benchmarking those trucks against each other and also benchmarking them against today's diesel trucks to identify how those trucks are competing amongst each other and what the pros and cons are and how are they competing against a vehicle available today, say a 2010 diesel vehicle?
We have two specific programs and one is with Argonne National Laboratories in Chicago and the other is CALSTART/CALHEAT in California. We are evaluating a number of different vehicles. We are doing testing internationally. In Hong Kong where we are the first package company using EVs for delivery purposes. We worked with Nissan ENV 200. We tested this vehicle provided our feedback in the UK, and Japan, and shortly in Brazil and in the US. The whole idea of the concept is to use existing technology.
Another program that we have with the EV technology is retrofitting existing vehicles. We have these robust chassis with the bodies that have a fairly significant longevity. The only thing that could actually fail would be things like mechanical failures of engines, transmissions. Give good geographic locations where corrosion is not an issue the chassis of the body could last years if not perhaps decades. So that given the chance that we could recycle some of these bodies and the chassis, and geographical locations which do not have corrosion failures, we look to see if we can retrofit these chassis at the end of their powertrain lifecycle with a new driveline. That is what we are trying to do this program. What we're trying to do is try to understand what it would take to do that and the next phase will be how we make those economics work? Stage one is what does it take, what components do we need? Once that is out of the ways the next phase is how to make it economical? We are working on this project with two different manufacturers.
Talking about the ecosystem development, charging as Kevin also mentioned, charging of the EVs. Each one of these trucks can range from 6 to 10 kilowatts, the scale of the typical suburban house in US. It is charging at 6 or 10 kilowatts. At a typical FedEx station, there could be 100 to 200 trucks. If we were to bring these EV into that place, an urban environmental such as Manhattan, at one of the stations would be all electric trucks, having 100 or 200 trucks at one station charging it one given point in time could be a megawatt or more of electricity. How can we manage the load? That is a partnership we have with General Electric and Columbia University to try to understand how we manage that? Right now charging EVs is binary, they are either on or off. You plug it in and just start charging like turning on a light bulb. How would we make it more intelligent? Say based on the duty cycle of a particular truck, how many miles would it be traveling and what is the grid status right now? Based upon those drive cycles and all these external influences, can we make this charging more intelligent?
Can we charge one truck at 5 amps and another at 40 amps based on their drive cycle? We have been looking at this question for about two years and collected a lot of data. This understanding has helped facilitate a larger deployment. What we used to do is have a glass ceiling; we were not comfortable charging more than 10 percent trucks at a time at a station. So if we have 100 trucks at a station were not comfortable doing more than 10 trucks at a station. The reason is explained in this graph. The x-axis is the hour of the day. So midnight is 0 on the x-axis and 24 is 11:59 PM at night. The y-axis is the current being drawn into that facility, for EVs or any other reason such as lights, HVAC, conveyors, all of the equipment that is running. The valley for a load is basically at night when we do not use much electricity during the hours of midnight somewhere around 4 or 5 AM. But having discharged about eight trucks, the trucks are represented on the left-hand side; each truck is scaled to the current it will draw. Just having eight trucks has turned our valley into the peak and at a station when about 100 trucks, that is where our artificial threshold came about. We know that having about 10 trucks charging at the same time will turn our valley into our peak and this will have a negative impact on the grid. Once we create this load this could be the for the demand charge the next three months or so. So how do we manage this load? We will be using this insight to deploy more EVs shortly.
We have had gaseous fuels in the fleet. We have had plenty of these in the fleet in the 90s, but after the OEMs discontinued support and we were left with no support and just like every other parcel transmission company there were no vehicles available. As these vehicles are coming back we have been looking into them again, especially overseas in places like Italy and Japan. The one concern that we have is that all of our trucks are parked inside. They are mostly being part indoors inside a warehouse. With situations where they could be venting of the gas, there is more to be done to the facilities than just getting the vehicles in. Now we have to start talking about air pockets, blocked air pockets, we have to measure and identify those locations; this is another layer of charge cost added. One of the other that we are concerned with is that most of the natural gas engines being brought right now, again it is sub optimized. These were old diesel engines, the six or seven or eight liter engines that are being repurposed for natural gas. We have worked very hard to right-sizes our engine and going back into the larger engines, really sub-optimized engines is a concern of ours. We are working with manufacturers to optimize. Again conservation is a big mantra for us. Whether it be diesel, natural gas, conservation should always be the prime driver. After that, we start talking about fuels. Being asked to move into those big liter engines again is a concern.
In summary, conservation is basically our prime mantra and so is innovating. Once in the realm of conservation, we need to know what we're doing, what we're hauling, and what kind of work we are doing in physics terms, and the matching the truck, the drive cycle, the rear end, match it to what we're doing. This gives us a platform to provide the best way to optimize on the energy that we use, whichever energy that we use, the extracted from expulsion of diesel or a battery. That will give us the advantage of optimizing and using the least energy that we can. We are in the realm of innovating and we will always be looking for new vehicles to our fleet. That is all I have, thank you for your time.
Thank you. We are now going into the Q&A portion. We have a couple minutes here so I will try to go through the questions quickly. The first question I see here is for Mark. Can you please explain again what the Clean Cities is trying to achieve with the National Clean Fleet Partnership? One thing that keeps confusing me and some others is how DOE conceives of NCFP as different from the older EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership?
I would be happy to. I get that question sometime and I apologize as I feel I did not do my job during my presentation. In essence, the National Partners is Clean Cities for these National Fleets. We are not trying to complete with EPA SmartWay program. Our metric isn't in emissions, our metric is petroleum reduction. As I started to allude to a little but I kind of sped up as I was concerned about running out of time, as we have seen over the last four or five years, many fleets are coming into the alternative fuel world. If we talk about shelf life, the first Clean Cities Coalition was Atlanta and 1993 with one of the first stakeholders being UPS. A lot of the fleets we worked with are fleets will work with a long time. We really felt the need about four or five years ago as we saw a lot of new fleets like Verizon and AT&T and a lot of the other fleet looking into alternative fuels, we felt the need to talk to them about Clean Cities. They were very excited about what we had to offer in terms of tools and resources and funding opportunities and want to be part of that. But the issue for them was a how we work with you?
It is an issue we face with our coordinators to that do not understand when they drive by a facility and see Frito Lay or AT&T or FedEx trucks there, there may be a fleet manager, but they are not responsible for purchasing decisions, or what type of fuel they run on. That is done at corporate. So we're really trying to at the National Clean Fleets Partnership is really coordinate and streamline and manage that relationship for these national corporations to really help them as they begins to deploy vehicles. So Keshav decides we're going to do EVs in Indianapolis, we can get him in touch with our coordinator and with local experts and he can get that out and moving ahead and getting projects going. That is the end of the day is what our partnership is. It is a more coordinated approach for these large national fleets to work with Clean Cities and hopefully make it easier not only for them to work with us but for us to work with them and to really understand what they are doing with their petroleum reduction plans and being able to help tailor the program to help them meet their goals.
Thank you. I see that we are about out of time but I will ask one more question and then we will follow up with the remaining questions with the presenters afterwards. The last question is again for Mark. You mentioned the Clean Cities technical and problem-solving assistance for fleet. Could you speak to what kind of fuel efficiency technology safety failures have been observed by the Clean Cities?
It is kind of a two-part answer to that question. Really what we look for first and foremost is technical problems. So often times we may find, and I will give you a good example using natural gas, you might have a fleet using natural gas as a vehicle and there is a problem with the performance of that vehicle. They get checked out by the manufacturer of the vehicle and the manufacturer says it is not the engine; it is the fuel of the natural gas. So then the fleet manager goes to the guy with the natural gas fueling station and he says it is not my station, is the quality of the gas I'm getting from the gas utility. The fleet manager goes to the gas utility and says you been giving bad gas and it is hurting my vehicle which ends up with everybody standing around pointing fingers at each other.
So what we try to do with a response team, bring in people who do not have a dog in the fight to help really unmask what the true issue or problem is. The safety is always first and foremost with what we do and I know that it is true of everybody in the industry. A couple of the things were looking at and we have tried to help fund in the past: one is first responder training. If there's an accident involving an alternative fuel vehicle, hybrid, how these first responders come upon the accident and react to it and respond to it is critical. If you have a Nissan Leaf and you're driving home tonight and you are in an accident trapped in the vehicle, you do not want the local fire truck showing up and taking the jaws of life to your vehicle indiscriminately cutting because he or you or other people could get seriously injured or worse if they don't know how they are addressing that. So we have funded through the past couple of cycles of grants a lot of stuff to do with first responder training.
One of the other issues that we are tracking, and our hosts at DOT and we have been working with some of the other industry folks from the natural gas vehicle industry is the issue of the cylinders on natural gas vehicles. Most of the cylinders have a 20 year life to them and believe it or not we are at the point where a lot of vehicles were deployed 20 years ago are coming up on a 20 year life. One of the challenges has been how find those vehicles because sometimes if those are done as aftermarket conversions, that being a natural gas vehicle is not reflected in the VIN number. We're trying to work again with not only the folks at DOT but a lot of the other industry people to say how do we first of all try to find where these vehicles are at so we can alert the earners that their tanks have reached the end of their useful life also moving ahead to talk about natural gas vehicles or hydrogen vehicles on any unit will have high-pressure gas on it, but those tanks will be tracked in the future to address safety concerns. That is a quick answer obviously, but just a couple of examples.
Thank you again Mark. I see that we are going a couple of minutes over so I will go ahead and wrap up now. Kevin thanks for typing those questions at the chat box. There are a couple questions I have and I will send over e-mail. I will send the answers out over to it all of our attendees.
I want to thank you all for attending today's seminar. The recorded version of today's event will be available within the next few weeks on the Talking Freight website. As a reminder if you are a AICP number and if you like to receive 1.5 Certification Maintenance credits for attending this seminar, please make sure you were signed in today with your first and last name, or type in your first and last name into the chat box if you are attending with a group of people. Please download the CM credit instructions if you're unsure how to obtain credit for today's seminar. The next Talking Freight seminar has not been scheduled, but will be announced to all attendees in today's session when it has.
Finally I would encourage you all to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV as that is how a lot of the information from the Talking Freight seminars is transmitted. With that, I will wrap it up now. I thank you all for sticking in here a couple minutes over and hope you all enjoy the rest of your day.