A Quality Function Deployment Approach to Identifying Alternative Fuels and Vehicles Technology Needs 931784
The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the Energy Policy Act of 1992, and Executive Order 12759 have provided a significant boost to plans for the development and use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). While the federal initiatives require the use of substantial numbers of alternative fuel vehicles nationwide in both government and private fleets, there is still a great deal to learn about the development, maturation, and use of alternative fuels and vehicles-vehicle durability, reliability and performance, fuel composition and purity requirements, emission characteristics, fuel availability and storage, and a host of other technology and infrastructure issues. There is a need and an opportunity to identify and prioritize the short-term and long-term technology and human factors issues to be addressed.
This paper summarizes the results of a methodology used at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) to identify the technology needs for successful, large-scale use of AFVs in the U. S. The alternative fuels considered include natural gas [compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG)], alcohols (methanol, ethanol), hydrogen, and battery-powered electric and hybrid electric vehicles. A quality function deployment approach was used to identify the AFV technology needs. This involved using a Juran matrix to characterize the alternative fuels and vehicles “customer base” (such as the commuters, service station owners, fuel suppliers, and fleet operators) and their requirements, and to translate these requirements into customer satisfaction. The customer requirements gave insight into the overall AFV needs, which were subsequently prioritized based on these requirements. A summary of technology needs and a list of potential technology development projects that resulted from this process are included for each of the alternative fuels considered.