The primary goal of AVTA is to provide benchmark data for technology modeling, and research and development programs, by benchmarking and validating the performance of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles that feature one or more advanced technologies, including:

  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technologies
  • Extended range electric vehicle technologies
  • Hybrid electric, pure electric, and hydraulic technologies
  • Advanced electric drive technologies and engine technologies
  • Advanced energy storage (i.e., batteries) technologies and chemistries
  • Advanced climate control, power electronic, and other ancillary systems technologies
  • Internal combustion engines burning advanced fuels (i.e., 100% hydrogen and hydrogen/CNG-blended fuels)

The AVTA also tests fueling systems such as conductive and wireless grid-connected electric drive vehicle fueling infrastructure.

By benchmarking the performance and capabilities of advanced technologies, the AVTA supports the development of industry and DOE technology targets. The testing results are also leveraged as input to component, system, and vehicle models, as well as hardware-in-the-loop testing.

The AVTA develops vehicle test procedures with input from industry and other stakeholders to accurately measure real-world vehicle performance. These test procedures are then used to test production and pre-production advanced technology vehicles on dynamometers and closed test tracks as well as in government, commercial, utility, and industry fleets. The AVTA tests produce unbiased information about vehicles with advanced transportation technologies, which reduces the U.S. dependence on foreign oil, while improving the nation's air quality.

The AVTA also produces information resources that support the decisions fleet managers and the public make when acquiring advanced technology vehicles. The testing results are presented in easy-to understand formats that allow users to compare the performance of different types of vehicles.

The AVTA's primary testing partner is ECOtality North America. Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Powertrain Research Facility and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) both provide the AVTA with dynamometer testing support. The AVTA also works with more than 100 fleet testing partners in North America to jointly conduct fleet testing of advanced technology vehicles in real-world applications. This cooperative research serves to provide the AVTA with vehicle test-environment diversity, access to unique testing capabilities, and the ability to leverage DOE funding.

The AVTA is conducted jointly by Idaho National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


James Francfort
Idaho National Laboratory

Kevin Walkowicz
National Renewable Energy Laboratory