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Webinar: Demo of AFLEET Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Emissions Tool (Text Version)

This is a text version of Webinar: Demo of AFLEET Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Emissions Tool, presented on May 3, 2023.

Steve Lommele, Joint Office of Energy and Transportation: Hi, everyone. I'm Steve Lommele. I'm the communications and education lead for the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. We are going to get started here in just a minute as some additional attendees trickle in. Thank you all for joining today. We're going to get started here in just a second.

Hi, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar. I'm Steve Lommele, and I am the communications and education lead for the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. Today, we are going to be doing a demo of the AFLEET CFI tool. AFLEET is the Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation tool. And there's a version that was developed specifically for the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program, and specifically the corridor piece of that. And we are going to be doing a demo of that tool today.

So before we get started, I just wanted to cover a few Zoom tips and housekeeping. So controls are located at the bottom of your screen. If they aren't appearing, you can go ahead and move your cursor to the bottom edge. We are going to be taking questions during the webinar via the Q&A window in Zoom, so please do submit your questions there. And then we will have some time to answer those at the end of today's webinar.

The webinar is also being recorded. And it may be posted on the Joint Office's website or used internally. So if you do speak during the webinar or use video, you are presumed to consent to recording and use of your voice or image. And just to reiterate, the webinar is being recorded, and we will post a recording of that on the website, along with the slides that are presented in today's presentation.

So I want to start out with a quick introduction. Again, I'm Steve Lommele. I'm the communications and education lead for the Joint Office. We're joined today by Andy Burnham at Argonne National Lab, as well as Neelam Patel from Federal Highway Administration. So we'll hear from them in a minute. But we are going to focus primarily on a walk-through of the tool and then taking your questions and answers at the end.

Just for those of you who may be new to the Joint Office, the Joint Office was established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. And our mission is to accelerate an electrified transportation system that is affordable, convenient, equitable, reliable, and safe — really doing this to create a future where everyone can ride and drive electric.

And the Joint Office sits between the Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation. And specifically we're focused on supporting some key programs. So the Joint Office provides unifying guidance, technical assistance, and analysis to support the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program. So that's $5 billion that goes to states as formula funding to build out a national electric vehicle charging network along designated electric vehicle charging corridors.

And then there's also the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program. So that's another DOT program that the Joint Office provides technical assistance for. And that's $2 and 1/2 billion in community and corridor grants for EV charging, as well as hydrogen, natural gas, and propane fueling infrastructure, along both highway corridors and in communities. And then the joint office also supports the Federal Transit Agency's Low-No Emissions Grant Program for Transit and the EPA's Clean School Bus Program.

So with that, I want to turn it quickly over to Neelam Patel. Neelam is the lead POC at the Federal Highways Administration for the Charging Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program. Neelam?

Neelam Patel, Federal Highways Administration: Thank you. And thanks to the rest of your Joint Office colleagues, Lisa and Heather, and to Andy who we're going to hear from. But yes, as Steven mentioned, my name is Neelam Patel, and I am the CFI, the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Competitive Grant Program manager in Federal Highway's Office of Natural Environment. And I am just one member of an engaged and committed team supporting this competitive grant program.

So the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorized the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program to strategically deploy publicly accessible EV charging and other alternative fuel infrastructure into communities, as well as along designated alternative fuel corridors. And the program, in addition to electric charging, covers propane-, natural gas-, and hydrogen-fueled vehicles. The NoFO, the Notice of Funding Opportunity, for the CFI competitive grant program is open until May 30, 2023. And within this program, the bill has established two distinct funding categories. The first is the community grant funding, and the second is the corridor grant program funding.

And the use of the AFLEET tool is required under the CFI corridor program. And this is listed in section D2 in the NOFO. And additionally, applicants to the CFI Community Program may use AFLEET if they choose to. It's not required. But the community applicants do have to demonstrate and explain how their project will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So if you have any questions after today's webinar about the CFI Competitive Grant Program, please submit those questions to the CFI inbox. And that address is, again, "C-F-I G-R-A-N-T-S at D-O-T dot gov." There has been an outstanding level of interest in this program. And we at Federal Highway are doing our best to provide answers as quickly as possible.

To follow this program, you can sign up for announcements on or regularly check our CFI website for updates. And if you haven't already registered for the program on, please do so. And if you're planning to apply, make sure you get your preregistration for in order. It takes a few weeks. And we at Federal Highway really appreciate this presentation and demonstration on the AFLEET tool. So thank you. Steven.

Steve Lommele: Yeah. Thanks, Neelam. That's great info. Just wanted to reiterate a couple of things that the Joint Office is here to provide you with technical assistance. So if you need help accessing the AFLEET CFI tool that we're talking about today, if you've got other questions where we can help connect you with resources and information, we've got various assistance available for states, communities, tribal nations, transit agencies, school districts.

We do one-on-one meetings to address specific questions and concerns related to the NEVI program. We've been working very closely with state DOTs for the last year now on their EV deployment plans, which are another thing that you should definitely look at when you are working on CFI applications. We have a concierge service. So if you have specific questions, you can reach out to us at driveelectric.go v/technicalassistance and communicate with us via our contact form which is

We can take phone, email, submit questions via our web form. And we will route those to an expert who will get back to you and answer your questions. So we've got a team of over 50 staff across 10 different organizations. And we are here to help you. So again, really working to create that future where everyone can ride and drive electric. We want to make sure you have the resources you need to be successful.

So is the online home of the Joint Office. It's a website that connects state DOTs and other stakeholders to resources, including data and tools on infrastructure planning. The guidance for the NEVI program, as well as the info for the CFI program, are on We've got various data and tools.

We have news and events. So we've been doing almost weekly webinars on a variety of topics related to EV charging deployment. And we encourage you to sign up for our email alerts. You can see when those are coming up and of course additional technical assistance, as I mentioned earlier.

So highly encourage you, again, to subscribe to our news and updates. Visit We will be sharing out a recording of today's webinar, as well as posting it on If you have questions today that we aren't able to get to, we do very much encourage you to contact us using the contact us form on Share that question with us, and we will get back to you. That's the best way to get questions answered that we aren't able to answer on today's webinar.

So we're going to get to Andy here in just a second. But I wanted to point out that the AFLEET tool, specifically for CFI, is posted on "data and tools." So if you visit that "resources" page that I've got featured here and click on that top link circled there, that's how you can get to the AFLEET CFI emissions tool.

And I do want to note that the AFLEET CFI tool is distinct from the AFLEET tool that's been available for a long time. So this is specific to the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program. So you want to make sure that you're using that AFLEET CFI tool that Andy's going to be demoing here in a second.

So with that, I'm going to turn it over to Andy here in just a second. Andy Burnham is a principal environmental scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, which is a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory. And Andy's research focuses on transportation, energy, and environmental issues, specifically with the energy use and emissions analysis for advanced vehicle technologies and transportation fuels. At Argonne, Andy is most known for developing the AFLEET tool for the Department of Energy's Clean Cities stakeholders. So they've been able to work with stakeholders to estimate petroleum use greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutant emissions, and cost of ownership of light-duty and heavy-duty alternative fuel and advanced vehicles.

So with that, I'm going to turn it over to Andy. I'm very much looking forward to your demo, Andy. And I will stop sharing.

Andrew Burnham, Argonne National Laboratory: I will take it away. Thank you so much, Steve. Thank you, Neelam, everybody, for setting this up and providing the opportunity to go over the tool. Please interrupt me if you can't see the screen. I hope everybody can. So the agenda for my presentation is to provide some background on the tool, then walk through a demo, and then leave some time for Q&A.

So first we'll talk about the background. So this tool, as Steve mentioned, was designed as a standalone tool to estimate greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions for corridor applications to the FHWA's CFI program. It covers six charger/station types, so really two charger types; level 2 EVSEs and DC fast charging EVSEs are the two chargers. And then four alternative fuel station types, including hydrogen, propane, and then I guess you can combine natural gas as one, but here we separate out compressed natural gas, CNG, and liquefied natural gas, LNG.

This slide deck will be posted. And so you can see this in the future and use it for helping with your demos. Also a lot of the acronyms that we have, I have in the background slide. So you can kind of go back and see what is CNG, what is LNG. As Steve mentioned, the tool is available on Also, it points basically to the AFLEET website, which is here. If you want, you can download the tool, open the spreadsheet, and follow along during the demo, if you'd like. Otherwise, after you're done with it, you can take a look.

So first I want to — after discussing that, I want to talk about methodology and really highlight what is the tool accomplishing. So it is estimating emission reductions for these EV chargers and alternative fuel stations. And the goal is to estimate the utilization of these chargers and stations by light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles and then compare that to a counterfactual case where those vehicles were running on either gasoline or diesel, some conventional fuel, and looking at the benefits, the reductions of emissions for these alternative fuels and electricity compared to what it would be if it was running on a conventional fuel.

So to highlight the emissions in a little more detail, what are well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions, which the tool is estimating? Well-to-wheel means it includes both the upstream, which is how to produce the fuel, as well as the vehicle operation, or tailpipe emissions for carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide and rolled up into one kind of CO~2~E, if you're familiar with that term, or greenhouse gas emissions, a single value. For air pollutant emissions, we look at, again, vehicle operation or tailpipe air pollutant emissions for six different pollutants:carbon monoxide, CO; nitrogen oxides, NO~X~; coarse particulates, PM10; fine particulates, PM 2.5; VOCs, or volatile organic Ccompounds; and sulfur oxides, SO~X~.

So this is only tailpipe emissions. So there is a little bit of difference between the two emissions within this tool. So what are the key factors that drive our results for the calculation? One is the expected utilization of the charger or station. And I'll talk about this several times as this is one of the key data entry points that you can adjust.

The other is vehicle mix. So the tool allows you to change the vehicle mix, whether it's LDV, is light-duty vehicle, or HDV, is heavy-duty vehicle. For certain fuels, it is set to a default value. But you can adjust as you are trying to represent your specific case.

And the next key factor that the calculation is based on is how is the fuel produced? For electricity, that refers to what is the electrical grid mix that is powering the charger. For some of the other fuels, it could be an example like for natural gas-based fuels, are you using fossil natural gas, or are you using renewable natural gas? So pretty much each of the fuel types have that type of capability to compare.

So as I mentioned, utilization is really a key factor in driving the estimate of reductions for these chargers and stations. So the data that underlie the tool — and we provide a lot of default information, which I'll show in the demo. But this default information is based on real-world data. We were collecting information on how chargers and stations are being utilized today. That may or may not represent your case. And you may have better data to highlight your expected utilization of the station. And you will be able to update that, these numbers. But this is provided by default.

We provided three cases. So if you're unsure or maybe not sure what you want to use, you can use the moderate, which is maybe an average case. Or if you think this station might be on the low side, this station might be on the high side, you can choose those. This is based on annual fuel consumption. How much fuel is the station dispensing in one year on average?

We provide a reference table to put this into context, basically, because you may not have a great sense of the fuel consumption on a gallon basis or kilowatt hour basis, whatever the fuel is. But you might have a sense of how many vehicles are expected to use the station. So we provided a reference table to show what our default values mean when we think about a full fill of a vehicle.

And so this is maybe not perfect for every single vehicle because here, we see for EVSEs, we're comparing to a light-duty vehicle like what the fueling would be. And you might have a heavy-duty vehicle. So it's not maybe representative of all cases, but it will give you a sense, if you want to adjust the values.

So now I'm going to go into the demo. If you have the spreadsheet, you can walk through it. I will talk about the two sheets that are in the calculator and where the different data is.

So we first start off with the intro sheet. And this provides just background information. It's providing some of the intro that we just talked about for this — what is the tool. But it's also providing instructions on how to use the tool. And we highlight what are required steps and what are optional steps.

So required steps are highlighted in yellow. It says required. And then the steps that are in orange are optional. So you kind of have a sense what you need to do and what you can do if you want to adjust.

It provides that table that I just showed before, that charger and station utilization reference info table. And then it also has the user-defined electricity generation mix. I'll talk about this in a future slide. But this is something that you can tweak, and it's in the instructions explaining how to use that.

So now we're moving to the actual calculator where you're entering primarily all the data. And this is the CFI tool sheet. So you have to move over one sheet. So here's where you kind of walk through the tool. And we have kind of step 1, step, 2, step 3, so on, of what you need to do.

So the first step is entering your state via the dropdown menu. It's starting it with Alabama. You can choose your state. This is required. And so what is this data used for? This will provide the default electricity grid mix based on your state. You can go and tweak that in future steps. But that is an important factor to determine for the tool, which grid you are using, which grid mix. And then it also impacts the vehicle operation air pollutant emissions. So that is another important factor why you need to enter that.

Step 2 is entering, kind of, really a lot of the key CFI inputs. So the first is 2a, which is the number of chargers and stations. I'll make this point for EV chargers. The charger station thing can get a little bit confusing because we have two types of chargers and four types of alternative fuel stations. The definition of a charger is in the background slides. But basically it's an EVSE. It isn't a charging station where you have multiple chargers. It is one, single EVSE that may have one or more ports. But that definition is in our slide deck here, and it is in the tool as well.

I would suggest using the moderate value if you don't have better information. So you can enter — as in this example, I'm entering one of each for moderate. But if you do have better information — or if you have a sense it's on the low side, on the high side — and what are the values kind of representing that? Well that's in 2b. That is the annual fuel consumption. And it's based on the fuel unit here.

And here, you could adjust our default annual fuel consumptions if you had better information based on your local situation. This is optional. Remember, yellow is required. Orange is optional. So you don't need to do changes if you do not want to.

The next step is optional as well. And you can adjust the default percentage of vehicle types that are using the station in your scenario. So as I mentioned before, by default we set up for the two EVSE charger scenarios. Those are 100% assuming light duty, same thing for hydrogen.

And then for propane and the two natural gas they're assumed to be default. You can tweak those if you have a different scenario. And so you could go 0% light duty, 100% heavy duty, or anywhere between 50%, and anywhere in between 100 for each of them. The next step after entering that data is adjusting your fuel production assumptions for these specific fuels.

As I mentioned before, the state that you chose in step 1 will determine which grid mix you're choosing. So I am in Illinois. And you can see that sometimes a state has kind of multiple types of grids in it. By default, it's going to choose the most likely one. It might be, for Illinois, RFC, but you could go and tweak this by using the dropdown menu and picking a different one. I'm going to talk about — the next step is kind of this user defined. So you can click the 12 and change that. I'll talk about that on the next slide. But this is all dropdown menus where you can choose option 1, option 2, and so forth.

So to adjust the default electricity generation mix, which was based on what was chosen in step 1, you will select option 12. And you see a little blue underlined hyperlink as user defined. Go to intro sheet. You can actually click that. That's a hyperlink within it, or you just scroll over to the sheet.

So choosing 12 in this cell and then clicking the hyperlink will send you back to the intro sheet. And you'll see this small table here on the right-hand side. It's highlighted in orange. And you could tweak the user-defined mix here.

So if you know that, let's say, you have 50% natural gas and 50% renewables, we call those others in this scenario. You can basically zero out the oil, coal, nuclear power, and biomass, put 50% natural gas. And then the bottom others is the remainder. It's going to automatically calculate to make sure it's 100%. So there you could tweak that if you have better information for your local situation.

After that you have kind of completed all the steps you need to accomplish. And you will see this table in number 4. This will provide each of the types of chargers and stations and the emissions reductions. So a positive number is a reduction you may see even in this example, there are a couple negative values. And the negative value would represent the actual increase in emissions. So that can happen in some scenarios, depending on your assumptions.

You will copy and paste this table into your grant application where appropriate. And you're done. So I'm here to answer any questions. I think we have about five minutes in the scheduled 30 minutes here. I, again, mentioned some of the background slides. So there is some notes and acronyms. The charger definition is here, some acronyms to explain what some of the terminology that we use in the tool is.

So again, thank you so much. And happy to answer any questions. I don't see the chat. So I think — or Steve, you could point out any questions. Or actually I think I can open up the chat here, too.

Steve Lommele: Absolutely. Andy, so we did have one question to be clear about EVSE. So can you just tell us about EVSE again. And EVSE, I assume, equates to a port. So you might have multiple connectors, but the EVSE is the part that's capable of charging a vehicle. Is that how it's defined?

Andrew Burnham: I'm going to read the full definition so it's super clear. It's wordy, but I'll do it. "In accordance with FHWA's national electric vehicle infrastructure standards and requirements — skip that part. In this tool, a charger is defined as a device with one or more charging ports and connectors for charging EVs, also referred to as an electrical vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE. So that is what a charger is. Yeah. Hopefully that's clear.

Steve Lommele: Thanks. And then I know you walked us through the expected utilization and made a recommendation that if you don't know, use a moderate case. But can you make a recommendation for how — or can you suggest how people might typically go about estimating the usage of a station?

Andrew Burnham: Yeah. So that can be a very detailed process. And you could look at a lot of different factors on expected utilization. You can look at — it is a challenge to find that information publicly. We have collected information from folks who have deployed these charges and to see what that is. And that's how we filled in our data with representative values.

So if you don't have good info, kind of stick to the defaults. That would be my suggestion. But as I — let's see if I get back to this table. If you wanted to, kind of, get a sense, if you had a better sense of the number of vehicles you expect to use the station, you could use this table to get a sense like, OK, for a certain amount of full fills, what does this necessarily represent? That is another way to go about it.

Yeah, for EVSEs, there are steps to look at, like thinking about how many sessions per week and how long are the sessions. And that's kind of a very detailed process. And for this tool, it's meant to be much simpler and represent kind of average cases, low-high cases. So it isn't such a burden to try to estimate that. But, yeah, it's a really good question and could be a very detailed thing or something like this, where we're trying to make it as simple as possible.

Steve Lommele: Great. Thanks, Andy. And maybe just really high-level question — I think you kind of touched on this in the beginning. But what is the major difference between the original AFLEET tool and the AFLEET CFI tool?

Andrew Burnham: Right. So we developed this tool to be a standalone tool specific for these applications for the corridor program, the CFI corridor program. The full AFLEET tool has a lot more capabilities on doing cost and analysis, doing footprints of the vehicles. So it has kind of a fuller amount of calculators. If we consider this one calculator, AFLEET, the original tool, has I think six calculators, and they do different things based on the needs of the user.

So I would highly recommend sticking for your specific scenario. If you're using this for the proposal, use the CFI tool. It's going to be much more straightforward. It's going to give also the folks who are reviewing that a consistent way to, kind of, compare different proposals because we're going to be getting tables from a consistent tool.

So I would stick to that. But if you are interested in doing costs and emissions analysis in the future, or kind of related to work, the AFLEET spreadsheet, the full version, has a lot of capabilities, which I just mentioned. And then we have some online tools that are nice to, kind of, walk you through cost and emissions analysis of different vehicles and so forth.

Steve Lommele: Great. Thanks, Andy. We're about out of time, but got another one here that I'd like to squeeze in. So you mentioned you enter the state so you can get the electric grid mix. And someone was asking, is it possible to model microgrids or other distributed generation and battery storage? And would there be any emissions differences compared to utility supplied power?

Andrew Burnham: Yeah, so I think you do — the way the tool will generate the emissions data is based on what type of electricity generators you're using. And if you had specific information to say we are doing something where we, say, get 90% renewables, and then we got a little bit of backup gen for something using natural gas or whatever it might be, you could project that out.

Here, you would want to use this option 12 doing a user-defined grid mix and then entering that in the intro sheet, so choosing option 12 and then adjusting these values in the intro sheet to represent your specific case, whether it's for a specific utility or whatever kind of application you have. The numbers that we provide are kind of very high-level, regional mixes. And you may be able to have more specific data for your specific case.

Steve Lommele: Great. Thanks, Andy. I think we got through most of the questions. And as I mentioned earlier, if you have a question that you weren't able to get answered today, please do reach out to us at And we will answer those questions for you. So let's see.

We do have another webinar planned for next week. May 9, we're going to be doing a webinar focused on minority business partnerships and outreach, which I think will be useful additional information. And then again, subscribe to our news alerts so that you can get important updates about when this recording's available on And we've got future webinars posted, that kind of thing.

So Andy, thank you so much for your time today. That was a very useful demo. We really appreciate it. And to all of you who joined us, thank you very much for taking time out of your day to join us. And as I mentioned, if you do have an outstanding question, please get in touch with us at And we'll make sure we get that answered for you. So thank you all so much. And that concludes today's webinar.