Screencapture of VICE Model.

Screencapture of VICE Model.

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Clean Cities program has launched a new version of its Vehicle and Infrastructure Cash-Flow Evaluation (VICE) model.

The VICE model helps fleet managers evaluate the financial soundness of investments in compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and fueling infrastructure. The new version is applicable to a wider variety of vehicles and can also accommodate an incremental fueling station build-out.

Using simple spreadsheet inputs, the VICE model helps fleets estimate the financial and emissions benefits they can expect to achieve by transitioning to CNG. To use the VICE model, users input fleet-specific data, including number of vehicles, vehicle types, fuel use, and planned vehicle-acquisition schedules.

The tool presents numerical and graphical presentations of return on investment, payback period, and annual greenhouse gas savings.

The model contains a number of default values for parameters such as vehicle prices, fuel prices, fuel taxes, and maintenance costs. However, users can replace the default values with their own data to obtain more customized results.

The VICE model can be found online at the Alternative Fuels Data Center, which also houses other tools and resources related to the deployment of alternative fuels and vehicles.