The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA) develops test procedures for advanced technology vehicles utilizing input from industry and other stakeholders. The AVTA then uses these procedures to accurately measure real-world performance of advanced technology vehicles. The performance and capabilities of advanced technologies for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles are benchmarked through this process to support the development of technology research and development targets for industry and DOE. The testing results also provide data for validating component, subsystem, and vehicle simulation models and hardware-in-the-loop testing. All testing results are presented in a uniform format that allows users to compare the performance of different advanced vehicles, allowing them to make educated decisions: on what areas to focus advanced research, or which vehicle to buy.
The AVTA performs three types of tests: baseline performance testing, accelerated reliability testing, and fleet testing. The type of testing used depends on the vehicle technology, the end-use application, and the needs of the testing partners.
- Baseline performance testing provides an accurate snapshot of a vehicle’s performance in a controlled test environment by using repeatable closed track and dynamometer tests.
- Accelerated reliability testing provides reliable estimates of fuel economy, operations and maintenance requirements, performance, component life, and life-cycle costs by accumulating the equivalent of several years mileage in just 12-15 months while operating on public roads.
- Fleet testing provides real-world fuel use, operations and maintenance, and cost data on advanced vehicles operated in a normal fleet application.