According to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, the number of electric charging stations increased more than 1000% between 2011 and 2015. It should be noted that beginning in 2011, the 3,500 electric charging stations listed in the U.S. refers to individual plugs rather than a station which may have multiple plugs. In 2015 there were more than 40,000 electric vehicle charging stations.
Other alternative fuels also saw an increase. In 2015, there were about 3,600 propane stations, 3,000 E85 stations, and 1,600 compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations. The other fuel types (biodiesel, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen) altogether have less than 1,000 stations nationwide.
Calculations from the California Air Resources Board show that, as of the end of 2015, approximately half of the natural gas being used as a vehicle fuel in the state is renewable natural gas.
Renewable natural gas (RNG), or biomethane, is a pipeline-quality gas that is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas and thus can be used in natural gas vehicles (NGV). RNG is essentially biogas (the gaseous product of the decomposition of organic matter) that has been processed to purity standards.
Only 10% of the state’s NGV fuel consumption was bio-based in 2013, rising to 22% last year.
Alliance Autogas, who set a record for the fastest recorded alternative fuel vehicle conversion to propane autogas, in 1:32:25 at the Work Truck Show earlier this month, is now getting ready to embark on a 5500 mile 12-city “Alliance AutoGas Coast-to-Coast Clean Air Ride.”
Alliance’s new engineered conversion system on a bi-fuel 2016 3.5 liter Ford F-150 V6 was converted to propane autogas almost 30 minutes faster than the predicted 2 hour window. The F-150 is now “traveling the talk” on a 5500 mile U.S. coast-to-coast trip that starts in Kansas City, Kansas, on May 2nd.
As spring continues, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) has been busy with conferences and trainings.
The NAFTC traveled to Indianapolis, IN for a Propane Autogas Vehicle Technician Training and hosted two-weeks of training in McFarland, CA. The CA trainings covered natural gas and electric drive vehicles. The NAFTC also conducted First Responder Safety Training for Firefighters and Law Enforcement Zachary, LA, hosted by Louisiana Clean Fuels.
The NAFTC was also busy with conferences and exhibitions.
Representatives from the NAFTC showcased trainings at the West Virginia Construction and Design Expo in Charleston, West Virginia. The exhibit focused on the NAFTC infrastructure trainings that would be helpful for architects and builders who are incorporating electric vehicle charging equipment into their structures.
The NAFTC provided information on careers in alternative fuels to students at the 8th Grade Career Fair in Morgantown, WV.
Also, the NAFTC exhibited and presented at the Louisiana Alt Fuels Conference & Expo, hosted by Louisiana Clean Fuels. The NAFTC cutaway Prius and the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Training Educator (HEVTE), was the focus of the exhibit. Attendees were able to see the inner workings of the car and interact with QR codes attached to the vehicle for more information.
Our Member Spotlight this month is on NAFTC member school Rio Hondo, who received approval to offer California’s first Associate of Arts degree in hybrid/electric vehicle/fuel-cell technology, a high-demand career field.
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For more information about upcoming NAFTC trainings, visit the NAFTC Training Schedule.