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Spatio-temporal and weather characterization of road loads of electrified heavy-duty commercial vehicles across U.S. interstate roads

by Amy M Moore, Adam G Siekmann, Vivek A Sujan
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the 15th International Green Energy Conference (IGEC-XV)
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 13
Publisher Location
Pennsylvania, United States of America
Conference Name
15th Annual International Green Energy Conference (IGEC-XV)
Conference Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Conference Sponsor
International Association for Green Energy
Conference Date

Adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in heavy duty (HD) commercial freight transportation is difficult due to technological and economic hurdles. Beyond safety and compliance, fleet and operational logistics necessitate both high uptime and parity with diesel system productivity/Total Cost of Ownership to support widespread deployment of electric powertrains. However, relatively high energy storage costs, along with the higher weight of BEV systems, limit the viability of HD commercial freight transport to shorter-range applications where smaller batteries will serve for mission energy requirements (single operational shift). Knowing the energy consumption and operating variations of these commercial vehicle systems is crucial for effectively sizing the energy storage systems. This paper is the first in a series of studies to understand the regional specific operating design domain variations of commercial Class 8 HD trucks and the associated impact to their energy requirements. In particular, the local weather conditions are shown to influence the total vehicle energy usage. Further, the impact of temperature, pressure, and humidity changes are shown to impact the local air density. This is needed to calculate aerodynamic drag on vehicles and has been found to play a significant role in the overall performance of a vehicle. Although the methodology of calculating air density varies only slightly throughout the literature, the application to transportation has still been limited. This study provides a means by which air density can be estimated for the contiguous U.S. using the NOAA MADIS dataset. These air density estimates were then used to determine vehicle performance in varying regions of the country to highlight the importance of consideration of weather variables when monitoring vehicle performance, but also to provide recommendations based on these locales upon fleet conversion to BEVs.