U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Clean Cities Model Helps Fleets Analyze Natural Gas Options
August 22, 2011
Clean Cities' Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) is providing assistance to fleet managers interested in using natural gas in buses or refuse haulers. The Clean Cities Vehicle and Infrastructure Cash-Flow Evaluation (VICE) Model helps fleet managers determine whether compressed natural gas (CNG) makes sense for their operations by allowing them to enter specific fleet data into an Excel spreadsheet.
Many fleets find CNG to be a cost-effective, clean-burning alternative to gasoline or diesel. However, there are significant up-front costs associated with a transition to CNG, including fueling infrastructure development, new vehicle purchases, and vehicle conversions. The VICE Model helps fleet managers estimate the return on investment and payback period for those up-front costs. The model also demonstrates the relationship between project profitability and fleet operating parameters, including the number of fleet vehicles, types of vehicles, and monthly fuel use.
Fleet managers can access the VICE Model on the AFDC, where they will also find the accompanying Business Case for Compressed Natural Gas in Municipal Fleets. This document provides a thorough description of the VICE Model, required data inputs, and the model’s default assumptions.