NextEnergy is rolling out a free web-based tool that allows fleet managers to more accurately and efficiently predict alternative fuel costs and emissions for a wide variety of commercial and passenger vehicles: calculating and comparing advantages of E85, B20 biodiesel and hybrid electric use within their fleets so they can make better purchasing decisions respective to their economic and energy-related needs.
“Fleets need resources to determine anticipated fuel expenditures and emissions from advanced powertrains and alternative fuels online,” said NextEnergy CEO Jim Croce. The new online tool “enables them to compare, validate and justify use of alternative powertrains and fuels,” he added.
Detroit, MI-based NextEnergy’s new tool, which was funded by a grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission’s Low-Income Energy and Efficiency Fund, also helps fleet managers evaluate emissions from various types of new powertrain technologies, engine sizes, and alternative fuel vehicles, he said.
It is easily accessed through a Web site hosted and maintained by NextEnergy and is built around a vehicular modeling and simulation program developed by Southwest Research Institute and used on projects for the U.S. government, U.S. Army and automotive manufacturers and suppliers, Croce noted.
Once accessed via the web, said Croce, the global fleet processing tool has a self- prompting graphical interface through which fleet managers users input fleet driving cycles on a percentage basis of city and highway driving. Using this information, the program calculates and projects the baseline fuel costs and emissions produced, he said.
For side-by-side comparison, the host web page also contains information on new, alternative fuel and advanced powertrain technologies. It allows users to select from these different technologies to determine the fuel costs and emissions produced, said Croce.
To test-drive the site, go to: http://www.nextenergy.org/industryservices/Fleet_Processing_Tool.asp