Friday, February 26, 2016
Question of the Month: Clean Cities uses a lot of acronyms. What are the most important ones to understand?
Answer: Have you ever been on the DOE’s AFDC to learn about EVSE for EVs or PHEVs to meet EPAct requirements? Let’s take a step back. Perhaps you feel like you need a translator just to understand the basics of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. If this sounds familiar, get in the know with our list of the top Clean Cities acronyms, broken down into 10 categories:
1. Federal Agencies and National Laboratories
a. DOE: U.S. Department of Energy: The federal agency with the mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. Clean Cities is part of that overall mission. DOE includes:
1. ANL: Argonne National Laboratory
2. INL: Idaho National Laboratory
3. NREL: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
4. ORNL: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
5. PNNL: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
b. DOT: U.S. Department of Transportation: A federal agency with the mission to ensure a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is part of DOT.
c. EPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A federal agency with the mission to protect human health and the environment.
2. AFDC: Alternative Fuels Data Center: A web-based resource that provides information, data, and tools to help fleets and other transportation decision makers find ways to reduce petroleum consumption through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures.
3. Vehicle Characteristics
a. GVWR: Gross vehicle weight rating: A metric that includes total vehicle weight plus fluids, passengers, and cargo. GVWR is used to define vehicle classes.
b. VMT: Vehicle miles traveled: VMT is the number of miles traveled by a vehicle or set of vehicles over a certain time period.
4. Fuel Economy
a. MPG: Miles per gallon: The standard for tracking a vehicle’s fuel economy.
b. MPGe: Miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent: For vehicles that do not use liquid fuels, a measure of fuel economy that allows for a reasonable comparison between vehicles using different fuels. MPGe represents the number of miles the vehicle can go using a quantity of fuel with the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline.
c. GGE: Gasoline gallon equivalent: The amount of fuel it takes to equal the energy content of one liquid gallon of gasoline.
d. DGE: Diesel gallon equivalent: The amount of fuel it takes to equal the energy content of one liquid gallon of diesel.
5. Vehicle Classes: Various agencies and organizations classify vehicles differently. Below are FHWA classifications:
a. LDV: Light-duty vehicle: A vehicle under 10,000 pounds (lbs.; Class 1-2).
b. MDV: Medium-duty vehicle: A vehicle between 10,000 and 26,000 lbs. (Class 3-6).
c. HDV: Heavy-duty vehicle: A vehicle over 26,000 lbs. (Class 7-8).
6. Vehicle Emissions and Pollutants
a. GHG: Greenhouse gas: A global pollutant, meaning it has climate and other impacts globally, no matter where it is emitted. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is by far the most abundant GHG produced by the transportation sector.
b. Air pollutants:
7. Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fuel Vehicles
a. AFV: Alternative fuel vehicle: Any dedicated, flexible fuel, bi-fuel, or dual-fuel vehicle designed to operate on at least one alternative fuel.
1. PHEV: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle: An HEV that can be plugged into an electric power source to charge the battery.
2. EV: All-electric vehicle: Uses a battery to store the electric energy that powers the motor. Batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source.
f. Natural Gas
8. Clean Cities Tools and Resources
a. GREET: Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation: An ANL model that evaluates the energy and emission impacts of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, the fuel cycle from wells-to-wheels, and the vehicle cycle through material recovery and vehicle disposal.
b. AFLEET: Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle
Environmental and Economic Transportation: An ANL spreadsheet tool that estimates petroleum use, GHG and air pollutant emissions, and cost of ownership of AFVs and conventional vehicles, using simple spreadsheet inputs.
c. PREP: Petroleum Reduction Planning: An online tool that helps fleets create a comprehensive plan to reduce petroleum consumption and GHG emissions.
d. VICE: Vehicle and Infrastructure Cash-Flow Evaluation: An NREL spreadsheet model for fleet managers to assess the financial soundness of converting their fleets to run on CNG.
9. Federal Programs
a. CAFE: Corporate Average Fuel Economy: DOT standards to improve the fuel efficiency and emissions of new on-road motor vehicles.
b. CMAQ: Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement: A DOT program that provides funding for projects and programs to reduce transportation-related emissions.
c. RFS: Renewable Fuel Standard: An EPA program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels to reduce GHG emissions.
10. Key Federal Legislation
a. CAA: Clean Air Act of 1970: Defines EPA’s responsibilities for protecting and improving air quality. CAA authorizes the development of comprehensive federal and state regulations to limit both stationary and mobile emissions sources.
b. EPAct: Energy Policy Act: EPAct 1992 encourages the use of alternative fuels through both regulatory and voluntary activities that DOE carries out. It was amended several times, including via EPAct 2005.
c. EISA: Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: Aims to improve vehicle fuel economy and reduce United States dependence on petroleum. EISA includes provisions for the RFS and CAFE standards.
d. ARRA: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009: Appropriates investments in energy independence and renewable energy technologies, including Clean Cities and other grant programs.
TRS: Technical Response Service: Sometimes you even need an acronym to figure out an acronym! That’s where the TRS comes in. For assistance with technical questions about alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, email the TRS at email@example.com
or call 800-254-6735.
Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team