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The VISION Model

What is VISION?

The VISION model has been developed to provide estimates of the potential energy use, oil use and carbon emission impacts of advanced light- and heavy-duty vehicle technologies and alternative fuels through the year 2050. Beginning in 2008, the analysis horizon has been extended to 2100. The model consists of two Excel workbooks: a Base Case of US highway fuel use and carbon emissions to 2050 (to 2100 in 2008 and newer versions) and a copy (of the Base Case) that can be modified to reflect alternative assumptions about advanced vehicle and alternative fuel market penetration.

Annual Updates

The VISION model is updated annually. The Base Case in the most recent version of the model is based on the Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) projections of light and heavy vehicle energy use in its Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2013. EIA's AEO 2013 projections end in the year 2040. In the 2013 VISION model update, these projections are extended to the year 2100. For greenhouse gas emissions, the VISION model uses carbon coefficients derived from Argonne's GREET model. The carbon coefficients are for the full fuel cycle.

Latest model. The latest version of the model is called "VISION 2013 AEO Base Case." The 2013 version is updated with greenhouse gas (GHG) and upstream energy rates from GREET1_2012_rev2. The improved features of GREET1_2012_rev2 are listed at http://greet.es.anl.gov/. In VISION 2013, the historical stock and VMT of light, medium and heavy duty trucks are updated to reflect the changes in FHWA Highway Statistics Table VM-1.

Beginning with the 2012 version, the procedure for computing electricity vehicle miles traveled (VMT) share of PHEV VMT is updated to reflect the new methodology in the SAE Standard J2841. The model was also updated to allow natural gas-powered medium and heavy trucks to use diesel as pilot injection fuel. A user can specify the percent fuel (GGE) that will be diesel. Besides, more hydrogen production pathways have been added and ethanol production pathways have been expanded to include sugarcane as a feedstock. Moreover, three summaries have been added: (1) hydrogen results, (2) feedstock energy results, and (3) fuel energy results. The hydrogen results summarize hydrogen consumption by production pathway while feedstock and fuel energy results summarize upstream energy use in production of each end-use fuel. Earlier in its 2010 version, the VISION model was also expanded to enable simulation of natural gas-powered medium- and single-unit heavy trucks and liquid natural gas-powered heavy combination trucks.

Prior versions of the model are listed at the end of this discussion.

Instructions, Copyright & User Agreement

User Guide and Instructions for use of the Model are provided below. There is also a short User Guide on the first sheet of the Excel workbook. Notes contained throughout the workbook indicate the sources of data used in the model (though they may not be completely up-to-date).

New user guide and model description were updated in January 2014. The updated document combines two older files, "Description of Model Used to Estimate the Impact of Highway Vehicle Technologies and Fuels on Energy Use and Carbon Emissions to 2050" and "VISION 2008 User's Guide", written in 2004 and 2006, respectively. This new document describes the 2013 version including all of the new features that have been added since 2006.

  • (New) VISION Model Description and User's Guide: Model Used to Estimate the Impacts of Highway Vehicle Technologies and Fuels on Energy Use and Carbon Emissions to 2100 (2.7MB pdf)
  • VISION Model: Description of Model Used to Estimate the Impact of Highway Vehicle Technologies and Fuels on Energy Use and Carbon Emissions to 2050 (333kb pdf)
  • VISION 2008 User's Guide (663kb pdf)
  • Copyright Statement and User Agreement
  • Instructions

VISION Developers

The VISION model was developed by various analysts over time. Primary credit goes to John Maples, now of EIA, and to Anant Vyas and Margaret Singh, of Argonne National Laboratory, for substantial updating. Now VISION model is maintained regularly and updated annually by Yan Zhou and Anant Vyas. Its development and annual updates have been sponsored by Phil Patterson, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (now retired). Jake Ward from the same office has taken over the sponsorship role beginning with the 2011 update.

Prior Versions of VISION

  • "VISION 2006 AEO ICE MPG Base Case" uses EIA's AEO 2006 projections of both advanced vehicle technology penetration and new vehicle fuel economy estimates to 2030 and then extends them.
  • "VISION 2007 AEO Base Case Expanded" uses EIA's AEO 2007 projections of both advanced vehicle technology penetration and new vehicle fuel economy estimates to 2030 and then extends them. This version represents an expanded VISION with more technology slots including PHEVs and fuel flexibility options.
  • "VISION 2008 AEO Base Case Expanded" uses EIA's AEO 2008 projections of both advanced vehicle technology penetration and new vehicle fuel economy estimates to 2030 and then extends them. This version represents an expanded VISION with more technology slots including PHEVs and fuel flexibility options.
  • "VISION 2009 AEO Base Case" uses EIA's AEO 2009 projections of both advanced vehicle technology penetration and new vehicle fuel economy estimates to 2030 and then extends them. This version represents an expanded VISION with more technology slots including PHEVs and fuel flexibility options.
  • "VISION 2010 AEO Base Case" uses EIA's AEO 2010 projections of both advanced vehicle technology penetration and new vehicle fuel economy estimates to 2035 and then extends them. This version represents an expanded VISION with more technology slots including PHEVs and fuel flexibility options. The model can simulate more hydrogen pathways and natural gas powered medium trucks (class 3-6) and single unit heavy trucks (class 7 &8) as well as liquid natural gas powered combination trucks (class 7&8).  The GHG and upstream energy use rates are from GREET 1.8d.1.
  • "VISION 2011 AEO Base Case" uses EIA's AEO 2011 projections of both advanced vehicle technology penetration and new vehicle fuel economy estimates to 2035 and then extends them. The earlier versions of AEO provided electric vehicle (EV) fuel economy based on the primary energy use (at the power plant). These values were converted to fuel economy based on the energy from wall plug by the VISION team. Beginning with AEO 2011, the EV fuel economy from wall plug is provided by EIA and is used directly in the model. Aside from this, the procedure for computing electricity VMT share of PHEV VMT is updated to reflect the new methodology in the SAE Standard J2841. The model was also updated to allow natural gas powered medium and heavy trucks to use diesel as pilot injection fuel. A user can specify the percent fuel (GGE) that will be diesel.
  • "VISION 2012 AEO Base Case" uses EIA's AEO 2012 projections of both advanced vehicle technology penetration and new vehicle fuel economy estimates to 2035 and then extends them. This version starts to handle two types of PHEV, PHEV A and PHEV B. PHEV A stands for PHEV with less than or equal to 20 miles CD range and is assumed to operate in blended mode. PHEV B stands for PHEV with greater than 20 miles CD range and having an ability to operate all electrically during CD operation. In VISION base case, PHEV A and PHEV B represent PHEV10 and PHEV40 of AEO, respectively.

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