As renewable energy becomes more cost-effective and commonplace, agencies may choose to begin replacing their winter maintenance vehicles and equipment with a fleet that has a smaller carbon footprint. There are, however, a number of issues that transportation agencies with winter maintenance programs should consider before converting an existing diesel-fueled winter maintenance fleet to one powered by electric vehicle technologies (EVT) or alternative fuels.
The goal of this project was to provide agencies that rely on diesel-powered winter maintenance fleets with a thorough understanding of the available technologies and related operational considerations that would be impacted by a transition to a fleet powered by EVT or alternative fuels.
Investigators researched EVT as well as identified what alternative fuels are viable for use in winter maintenance vehicles and heavy equipment, and compared the benefits and challenges each energy source offers. This information formed the basis for a synthesis report that agencies can reference in their decision-making process.