The National Academies

TCRP C-19 [Completed]

Guidebook for Evaluating Fuel Choices for Post-2010 Transit Bus Procurements: Update of TCRP Report 38

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Research Agency: Science Applications International Corporation
Principal Investigator: Dr. Delma Bratvold
Effective Date: 1/23/2008
Completion Date: 12/31/2010

TCRP Report 38, published in 1998, provides a guidebook and accompanying cost-model spreadsheet (FuelCost 1.0) for transit professionals considering the deployment of, or conversion to, alternative fuel buses. The guidebook and FuelCost 1.0 provide tools to simplify the process of developing an alternative fuel strategy by clearly identifying the issues, costs, and benefits associated with the conversion to various available alternative fuel technologies.  
Since TCRP Report 38 was published in 1998, there have been many changes in the regulatory and technological environment associated with the use of fuels for transit buses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions standards for the year 2010 are substantially stricter, requiring lower emissions.
Research is needed to update TCRP Report 38, limiting discussion to fuel-specific choices.  In TCRP Report 38, hybrid electric was evaluated as an alternative fuel; TCRP is anticipating 2007 publication of a report based on TCRP Project C-15, Assessment of Hybrid Electric Bus Technology, which may be included by reference in Project C-19. 
The objective of this research is to provide a comprehensive update of TCRP Report 38 to assist with 2010-compliant transit bus procurements. The update should cover a range of energy sources and fuels, including diesel; gasoline; compressed natural gas (CNG); liquefied natural gas (LNG); ethanol; liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); biodiesel; electrical energy sources (e.g., battery, fuel cell, or catenary); hydrogen and hydrogen blends; di-methyl ether (DME); biogas; and other potential fuels. For each fuel and supporting technology, similar information as provided in TCRP Report 38 should be provided, including, but not limited to, the state of the fuel/technology for potential transit application, emissions information, capital and operating cost information, impacts on operations and facilities, and other appropriate information. For the purposes of this project, “fuels” means energy sources that propel a transit vehicle.
Published as TCRP Report 146: Guidebook for Post-2010 Transit Bus Procurements. The FuelCost2 life-cycle costs and life-cycle emissions spreadsheet is available for download in a Microsoft Excel format. Appendix C of TCRP Report 146 is the user’s guide for the tool. The spreadsheet includes additional instruction for using FuelCost2.
Disclaimer - The FuelCost2 spreadsheet is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively “TRB’) be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operations of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.


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