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Advanced Powertrain Research Facility (APRF)

APRF dyno
Instrumented car on the dyno.
Researcher Forrest Jehlik at the APRF
Researcher Forrest Jehlik watches over dynamometer testing.
Environmental Test Cell
The Environmental Test Cell

Argonne’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility (APRF) enables researchers to conduct vehicle benchmarking and testing activities that provide data critical to the development and commercialization of next-generation vehicles.

APRF engineers use the facility’s two-wheel drive (2WD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) dynamometers and state-of-the-art instrumentation to reveal important information on performance, fuel economy, energy consumption and emissions output.

The APRF is capable of testing conventional, hybrid and advanced electrical propulsion systems using a variety of standard and renewable fuels in a precise laboratory environment.


Working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the automotive industry, Argonne’s vehicle research helps provide solutions to significantly improve vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions. Vehicle data obtained in the APRF is used to:

  • Support the DOE in evaluating current and future technologies and developing transportation goals and policy for petroleum displacement
  • Aid in the development and optimization of advanced technologies to expand commercial applications
  • Demonstrate alternative fuel benefits and promote energy diversity
  • Provide unbiased research results for many stakeholders


The APRF's features include:

  • Four-wheel drive (4WD) chassis dynamometer facility for road load simulation, monitoring of tractive effort, coastdown and calibration for vehicles up to 14,000 pounds
  • Two-wheel drive (2WD) chassis dynamometer facility for road load simulation, monitoring tractive effort, coastdown and calibration for 2WD vehicles up to 12,000 pounds
  • MATT (Modular Automotive Technology Testbed) that allows researchers to easily add, rearrange, and interconnect various vehicle components
  • Ability to run a wide range of fuels including gasoline, diesel, renewable fuels, hydrogen (both fuel cells and internal combustion) and natural gas
  • Ability to measure the particulate and criteria emissions of Super Ultra-low Emissions Vehicles (SULEV) for gasoline, diesel, renewable fuels and hydrogen
  • Flexible, in-house data acquisition systems to evaluate conventional, hybrid, hydrogen and electric vehicles
  • an Environmental Test Cell which allows testing of vehicles under extreme cold and hot conditions


The APRF's state-of-the-art equipment includes:

  • SULEV-certified emissions benches
  • Particulate measurement system
  • Fast flame ionization detection
  • Fast NOx measurement system
  • Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer
  • High power tester
  • Mobile emissions benches
  • In-house developed mobile CAN data logger
  • Safety system capable of detecting all hazardous gases, heat and smoke
  • Air handling system that cleans and conditions test air within Environmental Protection Agency certification limits



The APRF is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program.


  • Driving The Future--Argonne's vehicle systems research (brochure; pdf)
  • Advancing Next-Generation Vehicles (factsheet; pdf)

Mike Duoba

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