A model and optimization of alternative fuel vehicle fleet composition with triple bottom line concerns
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Alternative fuel types and technologies are increasingly being advocated for transportation needs to ameliorate concerns around energy security, climate change, and fuel cost. Each fuel type has unique advantages and disadvantages for cost structure and emissions. Meanwhile, corporate fleet customers are often making more sustainable choices of vehicle type due to public perception and other influencing factors. The sustainability of these vehicles can be viewed from a triple bottom line perspective of financial, environmental, and societal implications. However, there is currently a lack of organized knowledge that would allow a decision-maker to elect the appropriate vehicle type beyond lifecycle cost and carbon emissions. The simplification of the impact of fuel type choice disregards issues that are emerging in prominence around water consumption and public health. Water consumption is of particular importance to investigate as fuel types that have reduced carbon emissions are often more water intensive. This thesis develops a tool that examines these issues through modeling to provide a more holistic lifecycle view of a prospective fleet's impact. The choice of vehicle type then can be optimized by utility theory preference elicitation of the different customer desires. Various scenarios of corporate preference and fleet specifications are explored to provide case studies that exemplify the complexity of the decision process. Each potential scenario has its own characteristics that cannot be optimally fulfilled by an overarching fuel type but rather should be thoroughly examined individually to understand the true consequences.