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AMF - Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels

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Annex 49: COMVEC – Fuel and Technology Alternatives for Commercial Vehicles


Transport needs major de-carbonizing actions. However, there is no single solution that could solve this challenge. In order to gain optimum results, all transport sectors should be taken into consideration. Due to scarce resources of advanced and carbon-neutral fuels, it is necessary to attain information on the usability of alternative fuels and technologies and their impact on energy consumption and emissions in a given transport task. In addition, an overall assessment of the alternatives and their performance will provide insight in where certain technologies are best utilized, and leading to “optimal allocation” of various alternatives.

At ExCo 43 in Zürich VTT was asked to:

  • Action item 9: VTT shall prepare a pre-proposal on fuel and technology alternatives for heavy duty vehicles to be presented at ExCo 44
  • Action item 12: VTT shall prepare a proposal analysing alternative fuel and powertrain options for commercial light duty vehicles to be presented at ExCo 44

This Annex shall combine heavy-duty vehicles and light-duty commercial vehicles into one activity. The Annex 49 is concentrating on road transport, and it’s built upon inputs from previous and on-going AMF activities done in Annexes 37, 38, 39 and 43.

Annexes 37 (IEA Bus) and 43 (CARPO) are concentrating on well-to-wheel consumption and emissions of alternative fuels and technologies used in buses and passenger vehicles. Annex 38 is providing information on environmental impact of biodiesel vehicles (medium-duty trucks) in real traffic conditions. Annex 39 (Enhanced Emission Performance of HD Methane Engines) is concentrating on dual-fuel technology for improved engine performance. In addition to consolidating data from previous and on-going work, the project at hand will generate additional data from new vehicle types through actual vehicle testing. This project will produce common test procedures for comparison of fuel and technology alternatives for commercial vehicles and unbiased information on these available options that serves decision makers at all levels.

Purpose and Objective

The purpose and objective of this project is to develop common test procedures for comparison of commercial heavy- and light-duty vehicles’ tailpipe emissions and energy consumption. Another purpose is to provide additional information on alternative fuels and vehicle technologies well-to-wheel energy consumption, emissions and costs to supplement the information gathered in Annexes 37, 38, 39 and 43.

In combination with the information gathered in previous Annexes, the goal of this study is optimum allocation of alternative fuels and technologies for road transport. Several governments are developing road-maps for the introduction of alternative and carbon neutral fuels. For example Sweden is aiming at a vehicle fleet independent of fossil fuels, and Finland has set a very ambitions biofuels target of 20 % by 2020. The proposed project will strongly support developing deployment strategies for alternative fuels and energies.


The modus operandi of the project is equivalent to the one used in Annex 43 “CARPO”. This means several laboratories adding to a common pool of test data by running tests according to jointly defined test programs and test protocols.

Therefore development of common test procedures between research partners is foreseen as a key element. At least one common test cycle should be used for all vehicle categories. The project is planned to consist of eight work packages:

  • WP 0: Collection and consolidation of the existing data
  • WP 1: Development of common test procedures and protocols
  • WP 2: Vehicle testing
    • Three different vehicle categories including several alternative fuel and vehicle technologies
    • Parameters to be varied: fuel composition, driving cycle, payload (0, 50 and 100 %), environmental conditions (ambient temperature)
  • WP 3: Aggregation of well-to-tank information
    • based on test fuel matrix and information gathered in Annexes 37 and 43
  • WP 4: Regional information on transportation sectors energy options
    • Information from project participants on regional challenges and opportunities that drives the development of energy options in transportation sectors and affects to the available fuel selection. This regional information will also shed light on various alternative technology options potential in different regions.
  • WP 5: Full fuel-cycle evaluation (integration of WP2 & WP3)
    • Well-to-wheel fuel consumption, energy efficiency and emissions
  • WP 6: Life-cycle cost analysis
    • How alternative fuel and vehicle technology, together with the operation of vehicle, influences on life-cycle costs. Objective is to find a cost-effective way to reduce emissions and energy consumption in given vehicle use.
  • WP 7: Co-ordination of the project, synthesis and reporting
    • Administrative co-ordination, communication with the IEA AMF ExCo, synthesis of the data, compilation of the Final Report and dissemination of the results
Project Duration June 2013 - December 2015
Task Sharing Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Thailand
Cost Sharing Norway (Observer)
Total Budget 250,000 €

Operating Agent

Dr. Nils-Olof Nylund
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Biologinkuja 3-5
P.O. Box 1000
02044 VTT
phone: +358 20 722 5518, mobile +358 400 703 715
fax: +358 20 722 7048
email: nils-olof.nylund@vtt.fi