Skip to main content
Energy Systems and Infrastructure Analysis

Compass: Transportation Energy and Energy Infrastructure Analysis Model

Argonne’s large-scale computational model Compass simulates interactions among consumer choices and stakeholders’ decisions for long-term, cost-effective, equitable refueling infrastructure deployment.

The Challenge

The transportation sector is rapidly moving to electrification, and mobility as a service and autonomous vehicles are coming. These changes affect how decision-makers (e.g., agencies, utilities, cities and regions, and fleet managers) plan for the future, including decisions about where to place charging and other infrastructure and how to position their service hubs and related amenities.

The models these investors/agencies currently use, however, do not capture the interactions between consumer choices and stakeholders’ decisions over space and time, limiting their utility. 

What Argonne Offers

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have developed a large‑scale computational model – known as Compass – to capture interactions between consumer choices and stakeholders’ decisions.

Modeling the complex interactions among travelers, federal and local agencies, and service providers helps inform long-term infrastructure planning and technology adoption and systems optimization. In short, Compass helps decision-makers plan for the long term, invest more efficiently, and best serve their customers and stakeholders.

Compass is made possible by Argonne’s unique combination of world-renowned behavior-modeling capabilities (including agent-based modeling), high-performance computing resources, and deep transportation and transportation electrification expertise.

The Benefits

For Federal Agencies
  • Project infrastructure needs to support large-scale electrification. 
  • Project charging demand due to large-scale EV adoption and charging behaviors.
  • Help determine the most efficient domestic energy sources and infrastructure investments.
  • Identify infrastructure strategies with potential to advance energy equity. 
For Utilities
  • Project charging load due to large-scale EV adoption and charging behaviors.
  • Inform infrastructure deployment that promotes EV adoption and minimizes grid impact.
  • Quantify the social equity impact of transportation electrification and identify measures to mitigate inequities.
For Fleets
  • Identify locations for service hubs based on fleet routes and operational needs.
For Cities and Regions
  • Project charging load due to large-scale EV adoption and charging behaviors.
  • Inform energy and sustainability offices of the long-term energy and environmental impacts of new transportation trends.
  • Identify locations for service hubs based on travelers’ commuting, shopping, dining, and recreational behaviors.

Compass capabilities: ATEAM

As both a grid operator and a power provider, Exelon Corporation wanted to understand how electric vehicle (EV) adoption and the deployment of charging infrastructure would co-evolve over a three- to ten-year time frame. Argonne worked with Exelon to develop the Agent-based Transportation Energy Analysis Model (ATEAM).

In ATEAM, agents” represent individuals, organizations, or groups in different communities making various mobility decisions, including whether to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs). This decision is based on many factors, including whether EV chargers are available near routes likely taken by drivers in the community. ATEAM simulates drivers’ behavior as EV adoption and charging demand and availability evolve over time.

Developed with Argonne’s expertise in modeling and transportation, ATEAM provides insights into the potential growth in electrified transportation over the medium to long term. This helps Exelon forecast times and locations of peak charging loads, which informs its infrastructure buildout and investment priorities.