Photo of a compressed natural gas vehicle

The VICE Model helps fleet managers evaluate the financial soundness of investments in CNG vehicles and fueling infrastructure.

Clean Cities launches improved tool to help fleets evaluate CNG investments

We’ve updated the popular Vehicle and Infrastructure Cash-Flow Evaluation (VICE) Model to allow fleets greater flexibility in determining payback periods for natural gas vehicles and fueling infrastructure. The VICE Model helps fleet managers evaluate the financial soundness of investments in compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and/or fueling infrastructure. The updated version is applicable to a wider variety of vehicles and can accommodate an incremental fueling station build out.

Thousands of fleets across the country have successfully switched to natural gas, realizing significant cost savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. 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 then provides numerical and graphical presentations of return on investment, payback period, and annual GHG savings.

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

Find the VICE Model on DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center along with many other robust tools and resources related to deploying alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.

    • Erik Nelsen, National Renewable Energy Laboratory