The Zero-Emission Vehicle Planning and Charging (ZPAC) tool was developed by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to assist agencies in planning for future zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) acquisitions and deployment of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Request a copy of the tool.

ZPAC Tool at a Glance

ZPAC is an optional tool that provides detailed vehicle-by-vehicle analysis and helps identify ZEV and EVSE opportunities at each fleet location.

ZPAC's ZEV Selection worksheet supports identification of ZEV candidates.

ZPAC's EVSE Needs and Prioritization worksheet uses ZEV candidates and Federal Automotive Statistical Tool (FAST) data to estimate EVSE needs by location.

Overview of the ZPAC Tool

ZPAC provides a detailed analysis of the ZEV suitability for each existing vehicle in an agency's inventory, using current estimates of future ZEV model availability, modeling of any battery electric vehicle (BEV) range concerns, and the potential impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The tool allows you to assign specific fleet locations to your vehicles, and then use the projected ZEV acquisitions at those location to identify EVSE needs.

There are six general steps to complete the ZPAC tool: three to identify ZEV candidates and three to use those candidates to inform the deployment of EVSE at fleet site locations.

Identify ZEV candidates:

  1. Review data on vehicles in inventory
  2. Use data to evaluate quality of ZEV replacement candidates
  3. Select a ZEV decision point

Use ZEV candidates to inform EVSE deployment:

  1. Review existing number of fleet ZEVs and EVSE at the site
  2. Determine EVSE needs at the site
  3. Select priority EVSE deployment sites

The ZPAC tool is typically pre-populated with all the domestic vehicles in an agency fleet, meaning that it includes vehicles eligible for replacement in the next fiscal year, as well as all future years. The ZPAC tool, however, is designed with capability to evaluate whatever part of the fleet or time horizon of interest you chose. You may choose to focus efforts on a single acquisition cycle or evaluate the replacement of the entire fleet. Or you may choose to look at a specific sub-fleet or set of site locations. It is important to note, however that the best way to plan for EVSE is to look at longer-term future ZEV requirements when deciding on the number of EVSE to install.

Identify ZEV Candidates in the ZPAC Tool

Identifying ZEV candidates in the ZPAC tool begins on the ZEV Selection tab. This tab lists all the agency fleet vehicles, including the vehicle information necessary to complete an analysis of agency vehicles that are good candidates to be converted to ZEVs.

There are three general steps to identify ZEV candidates using the ZPAC tool, which are described in the sections below.

Start by verifying the list of vehicles provided in the ZEV Selection tab. If data inaccuracies are found, correct them as feasible. Confirm the vehicle information including vehicle ownership, model year, vehicle type, and Standard Item Number (SIN). Note that some of these data were revised based on the reported vehicle identification number (VIN), and therefore may differ from that reported in FAST.

The ZPAC tool estimates the quality of ZEV replacement candidates using three (for BEVs) or two (for plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEVs)) criteria:

  1. Standard Item Number (SIN) Replacement Availability. In the BEV Replacement-SIN and PHEV Replacement-SIN columns, the SIN values presented in these columns are based on vehicles that were available and projected by GSA to be available at the time of release of the tool. Some of these SIN represent identical replacements for the existing vehicle, while others are similar replacements. When possible, contemplate vehicle replacement where there is availability listed in the BEV Replacement-SIN and PHEV Replacement-SIN columns.
  2. Modeled BEV Range Concerns (for BEVs only). BEV suitability decreases with increasing frequency that the vehicle exceeds its daily mileage range and must use public charging during the workday. For vehicles with data in DOE's FleetDASH tool, you will see a tiered suitability assessment for potential BEV range concerns. These assessments were developed using a machine learning model and fuel transaction location data in FleetDASH to estimate the number of times annually a vehicle might drive a distance further than the range of currently available BEVs in a single workday (250 miles), and therefore would need charging off-site, at public charging infrastructure. These are estimates and thus you will need to vet the information with those persons having local-level knowledge of actual vehicle usage. When an agency supplies its own assessment in the "Reported BEV Range Concerns," that determination will override or replace the initial modeled factor.
  3. GHG Emission Reduction Potential. This field provides a tiering classifying the potential GHG reduction of converting the vehicle to a ZEV, based on that vehicle’s prior reported fuel consumption. Ideally, vehicles with Very-High, High, and Moderate labels will be the ones selected first to maximize potential reductions in petroleum consumption and GHG emissions.

The model results in the Quality of BEV Candidate and Quality of PHEV Candidate fields provide a determination of the suitability of the vehicle for replacement with a BEV or PHEV. The field is calculated based on the combined responses from the fields listed.

The model results in the ZPAC tool: Quality of BEV Candidate, Quality of PHEV Candidate, and GHG Emission Reduction Potential were derived using DOE and GSA data. The model does not capture ZEV unsuitability reasons due to either the vehicle mission (e.g., overseas or used for home-to-work missions) or issues with deploying EVSE (e.g., no access to power or a non-agency-controlled location). Armed with an understanding of the vehicle operating and site characteristics, fleet managers are best equipped to capture these potential unsuitability reasons in the ZEV Unsuitability Special Circumstances columns of the ZPAC tool.

Using all the information gathered and evaluated in the ZEV Selection tab, the fleet manager should use the dropdown menu to indicate a decision for each vehicle listed in the ZPAC tool. Selections available include: 

  • BEV
  • PHEV
  • Fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV)
  • Non-ZEV (e.g., gasoline, hybrid, or diesel vehicle)
  • Eliminate the vehicle from the fleet
  • Retain existing vehicle (without replacement).

Use ZEV Candidates to Inform EVSE Deployment in the ZPAC Tool

Once the agency’s evaluation and identification of potential ZEV candidates in the ZEV Selection worksheet is complete, agency fleet managers begin identifying EVSE needs in the EVSE Needs and Prioritization worksheet. This worksheet is pre-populated with their selected ZEV candidates at each agency fleet site location.

Agency fleet managers next assess the feasibility and suitability of installing EVSE at those locations to support those ZEVs once acquired. Within the EVSE Needs and Prioritization worksheet, the agency fleet manager determines EVSE needs at each fleet location by assessing the existing ZEVs and charging infrastructure, evaluating projected future ZEV acquisitions at the site, weighing the ease of EVSE deployment including potential challenges, and selecting the number of Level 1 and Level 2 charging ports to support the projected electrification.

Described below are the three general steps to plan EVSE for each fleet site location within the EVSE Needs and Prioritization worksheet of the ZPAC tool.

Begin completing the EVSE Needs and Prioritization worksheet by reviewing and entering information on existing electrification at each fleet location. The worksheet is pre-populated with data sourced from FAST data estimating the existing number of BEVs (Column J), PHEVs (Column O), Level 2 charging ports (Column I) and Level 1 charging ports (Column N) at the fleet location. If possible, confirm current ZEVs and EVSE with the fleet location, and enter the correct number of existing BEVs in Column K, PHEVs in Column P, Level 2 charging ports in Column E, and Level 1 charging ports in Column G.

Sites that already have ZEVs and charging infrastructure deployed are great candidates for additional ZEVs and charging infrastructure; not only do the fleet and facility managers and operators has experience and familiarity with electrification, but expanding existing charging infrastructure is, in most cases, more cost-effective than building new charging infrastructure. Additionally, some fleet locations may have sufficient charging ports for planned ZEVs without installing new ones.

The planned number of BEV and PHEV acquisitions at the fleet site location are populated from the ZEV Selection worksheet, and captured in Columns L and Q. Using these data and the number of existing BEVs and PHEVs at the site, agency fleet managers can estimate how many Level 1 and Level 2 charging ports are needed to support electrification at the site.

Agency fleet managers should next evaluate EVSE needs at the fleet site location together with the high-level feasibility, suitability, and potential costs for deploying charging infrastructure at the fleet location, in coordination with site location fleet managers and facility managers where possible. Agency managers enter the planned number of additional Level 1 and Level 2 charging ports to support the projected electrification in Columns F and H.

Agency fleet managers complete the EVSE deployment analysis in the ZPAC tool by selecting whether each location is a priority EVSE deployment site. Agency should focus on selecting fleet site locations that provide the greatest impact on electrification using available resources as priority sites. This may include sites with greater numbers of planned ZEVs, existing charging infrastructure, or with simpler EVSE installations.

ZPAC Tool Training Videos

Video Url
ZPAC Tool Tutorial Part 1: This video provides a quick tour of the ZPAC tool, including the individual worksheets, and guides you through completing the ZEV Selection worksheet.
Video courtesy of NREL
Video Url
ZPAC Tool Tutorial Part 2: This video describes how to complete fields for example vehicles, complete the EVSE Needs and Prioritization worksheet, and view data in the Summary Dashboard.
Video courtesy of NREL