New Sponsor FleetCarma Helps Design UWAFT’s Powertrain

When the University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) began to select its powertrain for EcoCAR2, they turned to FleetCarma to develop a data-driven selection process. FleetCarma, EcoCAR 2’s newest Silver Sponsor, offers tools designed to help fleet managers select the right vehicle for any fleet application.  They work with fleet managers to analyze the cost effectiveness of potential replacement vehicles over their entire service lives.

Fleet managers who want to go green understand that they need to consider the Total Cost of Ownership to make decisions regarding vehicle purchases. For example, they weigh the higher initial cost of an electric vehicle (EV) versus its operational savings down the road.  They also want to know whether an EV will be capable of doing the job with enough range and charge capabilities.

The FleetCarma system is a unique way to determine the right vehicle for a job because it uses a simple-to-install OBD data logger to capture duty cycle and operational needs. That usage pattern is then fed to FleetCarma’s backend system, where it is run through a number of simulations depending on which vehicles are being considered for purchase. The results include the vehicle’s real-world fuel consumption and provide detailed analysis of potential replacement vehicles. In a nutshell, the system determines whether any electric vehicle will (a) do the job that is required and (b) offer worthwhile cost saving and emission reduction benefits.

FleetCarma’s head office is located in Waterloo, Ontario and the company employs several UWAFT alumni. UWAFT maintains an active relationship with the company, so the team was excited to use FleetCarma’s system to help select and test powertrain configurations and components for its EcoCAR 2 vehicle. UWAFT deployed FleetCarma’s data loggers on various vehicles to capture real-world drive cycles. These cycles were then reviewed for statistics such as daily driving distance, duration and driver aggressiveness. In total over 171,000 km of driving distance was captured, which resulted in 4,900 hours’ worth of driving data. These cycles were also fed into more than 20 vehicle models, where the projected real-world fuel consumption was measured and compared. For UWAFT, this helped design a vehicle that would achieve the best possible real-world fuel consumption and energy and emissions reductions

Stay tuned as UWAFT and the rest of the EcoCAR 2 teams announce their chosen vehicle architectures during the Winter Workshop in just three weeks!