CalHEAT Market Barriers and Opportunities for Alternative Fuel-Hybrid Systems

June 2013

The California Hybrid, Efficient and Advanced Truck Research Center (CalHEAT) was established by the California Energy Commission in 2010 as a project operated by CALSTART to research, plan, and support commercialization and demonstrate truck technologies that will help California meet environmental policies mandated through 2050. One of the roles of the research center is to coordinate the development of a Research and Market Transformation Roadmap to deliver clear, actionable steps to help meet or exceed the 2020 goals for California in petroleum reduction, carbon reduction, and air quality standards, and set up a Roadmap for longer term goals. Medium-duty vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles account for 9% of greenhouse gases in California, and approximately 20% of fuel used. Improvements in efficiency or reduction of petroleum use by trucks provide a substantial opportunity to reduce emissions.

This report considers one of the Roadmap’s steps to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving efficiency in trucks: combining alternative fuels and hybrid drive propulsion in one vehicle. It examines benefits, barriers and initial pathways to merging the benefits of high-efficiency hybrid-truck technology with low carbon, alternative fuels. The benefits of the alternative fuel-hybrid combinations were compiled through extensive industry research and data collection. These provided insights into barriers, gaps, and immediate recommendations. Scenarios analyses measured the benefits of this technology path for the California truck population and the potential for greenhouse gas and emissions reductions in the future.

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