December 30th, 2007

2007: A Year in Review


Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and advanced technology vehicles achieved much success in 2007 as more education about these vehicles helped lead to their further development and adoption. In particular, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) sales continued to increase as automobile manufacturers introduced many new and/or improved models. The popularity of HEVs is for good reason—as researched by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, hybrids have saved the United States close to 230 million gallons of gasoline since their introduction in 1999. More details on this incredible achievement can be found in September’s eNews story, “NREL Releases U.S. Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fuel Savings Estimates.” In addition to the fuel savings, many hybrid incentives for consumers, as well as dealers, are continuously being introduced. These incentives not only save buyers money, but help the environment by placing more hybrids on the roadways. The March eNews story, “Understanding Hybrid Buying Incentives,” explores some of the incentives offered.

Alternative fuels also saw nationwide success as several states became home to stations that carry the fuels. Learn about the success of E85 in the June eNews story, “E85 Stations Exceed 1,200 Locations” or how to find the nearest alternative fuel station near you in the March article, “New Alternative Fuel Tools Available.” Biofuels, including biodiesel, continue to be developed as researchers find innovative sources and methods for producing them. In 2007, the NAFTC eNews reported that pond scum, chicken fat, peat, palm oil, jatropha, kukui nuts, coconuts, and citrus waste are all being explored as feedstock for biofuels. You can learn more by reading the January eNews story, ”’Alternative’ Alternative Fuels Explored,” the March eNews article, ” Pond Scum May Become Biofuel Source,” and the April eNews story, “Tropical Biofuel Possibilities ‘Cropping’ up Everywhere.”

As detailed in this edition of eNews, the NAFTC recently held its Fall Business Meeting at NAFTC Headquarters in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Consortium also held two other business meetings in 2007—its largest meeting of the year in Washington, DC, in February and its summer meeting at Yellowstone National Park in June. All of these meeting sites were unique and ideal, as NAFTC members were afforded opportunities such as meeting with Congressional representatives, viewing the first hydrogen fuel cell-powered car in the State of West Virginia, and experiencing the beauty of a national park being supported by biodiesel, ethanol, and hybrid technology. More information can be found in this edition of eNews as well as the March eNews story, “NAFTC Members Gather for Business Meeting,” and the July article, “NAFTC Holds Joint Meeting with Yellowstone National Park Service on Environmental Practices.”

In addition, the NAFTC attended and/or exhibited at many events this year. Some of them include:

  • The Electric Drive Transportation Association’s conference in Washington, DC
  • The National Biodiesel Board’s Conference and Expo in San Antonio, Texas
  • The 2007 National Hydrogen Association Hydrogen Conference in San Antonio, Texas
  • The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute’s Alternative Fuels and Vehicles Conference and Expo in Anaheim, California
  • The Automotive Training Managers Council (ATMC) Spring and Fall Conferences in Baltimore, Maryland, and St. Louis, Missouri
  • The Teaming To Win Conference in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • West Virginia’s Annual State Transportation Conference in Cheat Lake, West Virginia
  • Numerous Clean Cities events across the country
  • EVS23 (Electric Vehicle Symposium) in Anaheim, California
  • Hydrogen Executive Leadership Panel (HELP) meetings
  • U.S. DOE Leadership Retreat in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
  • and many more.

The NAFTC conducted many training activities in 2007, including a course in the spring for dealers planning to sell Miles Electric Vehicles. Contracted by the company to develop the course and deliver the training, dealers along the East Coast and even from Texas participated to learn more about the MILES all-electric vehicles. More information on the training and its beta test can be found in the April eNews article, “Miles Automotive Group Training Beta Test Conducted at Rio Hondo,” and the May story, “NAFTC Hosts Miles Automotive Group Training at NAFTC Headquarters.”

One of the most exciting events for the NAFTC in 2007 was the debut of its “First Responder Safety Training – Hybrid Electric Vehicles” workshop at the Uniontown Fire Department in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The first in a series geared toward first responders, this training is available as a four-hour workshop for police, firefighters, EMTs, and EMS or as a one to two-day instructor training course. To learn more about the beta test, read the April eNews story , “NAFTC Debuts Workshop on HEV Safety for First Responders.” To learn more about the workshop itself, please visit www.naftc.wvu.edu.

Other training was conducted for natural gas, ethanol, and AFVs in general.

Finally, the NAFTC recently received a Training Excellence Award for its Overview of Biodiesel course, as detailed in the October eNews story, “NAFTC Wins Training Excellence Award.” The annual award, given by the Automotive Training Managers Council, recognizes providers of quality automotive/truck technical training and is an excellent way for the NAFTC to end 2007, a successful and productive year for both the Consortium and the AFV and advanced technology vehicle industry.




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