Science and Technology Development at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL)
The National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) leads the development of science and research in support of EPA’s regulations in the transportation sector. The lab plays a crucial role in supporting the Office of Transportation and Air Quality’s technology assessment and test method development programs for light-duty cars and trucks, heavy-duty engines, and small nonroad engines. NVFEL is a leading innovator in finding novel ways to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles, engines, and fuels, and holds over 90 U.S. patents on advanced technology developed at the lab.
Starting in 2012, NVFEL’s National Center for Advanced Technology (NCAT) developed a special laboratory test program to assess the effectiveness of a broad range of key light-duty vehicle technologies, to better understand their potential for enabling manufacturers to meet EPA’s 2017-2025 light-duty vehicle Greenhouse Gas standards. NCAT tested a number of recent model-year engine and transmission technologies in the laboratory, and also evaluated near-term, emerging technologies. NVFEL is leading the integration of the laboratory data into a comprehensive light-duty vehicle modeling tool (ALPHA), which may be used to predict the greenhouse gas reductions possible from various combinations of vehicle technologies. The ALPHA model, and the data supporting it, will be one of the foundations for the joint Technical Assessment Report for the Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE) of the 2017-2025 Light-Duty Greenhouse Gas standards. For more information, see:
- The Advanced Light-Duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) Tool
- The Midterm Evaluation of Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Standards for Model Years 2022-2025
NVFEL’s engine testing center plays a key role in testing heavy-duty engine technologies in support of EPA’s new greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emission standards. Historically, the lab has supported technology demonstration and test method development programs for heavy-duty onroad and nonroad engines. More recently, the engine testing center has been mapping out the fuel consumption of heavy-duty engines at various operating conditions and using the results to validate OTAQ’s heavy-duty Greenhouse Gas Emissions Model (GEM). In addition, the laboratory continues to support the development of new test methods and test cycles for heavy-duty engines, powertrain systems, and chassis. For more information, see: