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INL research team reaches milestone

The Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity team has logged 100 million miles since 1994.

The research team analyzes the behavior of electric vehicle drivers and supplies the U.S Department of Energy with its findings. Jim Francfort is the lead researcher on the team.

“We’re getting about a million miles of data every six days,” said Francfort. “So, we’re getting quite a bit of data.”

Francfort and the research team rely on field testing from fleets of cars. The team used 11,500 vehicles to gather the 100 million miles of data.

“Probably the biggest fleet is the EV project,” said Francfort. “We have 8,300 cars.”

In that project people who buy Nissan Leafs or Chevy Volts get charging infrastructure installed at their homes by the project’s operator, ECOtality.

“In exchange they give us data for about two-and-a-half or three years,” said Francfort.

The information helps the DOE determine the needs for charging and support petroleum reduction.

“What we’re doing is supporting the DOE in making decisions on whether or not those investments are being made in the right place,” said Francfort.

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