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Task 49


COMVEC - Fuel and Technology Alternatives for Commercial Vehicles

Purpose and Objectives

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

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


The modus operandi of the project was equivalent to the one used in Task 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 was foreseen as a key element. At least one common test cycle was used for all vehicle categories. The project was 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 Tasks 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. The objective was 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

Expected Results

The general outcome was IEA sanctioned, unbiased data on the performance (energy use and emissions) of new technologies. This type of information was needed for decision makers at all levels. The goal of this project was to fill out the blank spots for commercial vehicles by applying the systematic approach used in the evaluation of technology alternatives in Tasks 37 and 43. The project produced a written Final Report, which includes:

  • information and methodology how to test and compare commercial vehicles’ tailpipe emissions and energy consumption
  • information on alternative fuels and vehicle technologies well-to-wheel energy consumption, emission and costs
  • Overall outcome: focusing alternatives for the most suitable applications and vehicle categories
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 €
Task Manager

Dr. Nils-Olof Nylund
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland