The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) kicked off the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program March 24 at its headquarters in Morgantown, W. Va.

Funded by a $6.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), this initiative will help accelerate the development of various advanced electric drive vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

The NAFTC is working with several partners, who are collectively contributing $1.7 million in cost share to the project. The team, which has more than 250 years of project management experience, includes Innovation Drive, Sabre Engineering, Big Fish Advertising and Public Relations, Advanced Vehicle Research Center (AVRC), Auto Exposure, MotorWeek, Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition, Northeast Utilities, South Carolina Department of Education and West Virginia Department of Education. Representatives from the NAFTC and the project partners made presentations during the kick-off meeting.

“The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program kick-off meeting provided an opportunity for the project partners to meet one another and to observe how everyone’s areas of expertise will contribute toward a successful outcome,” said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron. “Watching and hearing the presentations inspired those in attendance to foster a greater understanding of advanced electric drive vehicles and the importance of this project.”

The program has the following five major goals:

• Create an external advisory committee that will provide input on project-related activities.

• Develop and provide teaching materials to secondary schools (Grades 7-12) about advanced electric drive vehicles.

• Train in-service and pre-service personnel, automotive technicians and first responders to work with advanced electric drive vehicles and their supporting infrastructure.

• Educate consumers on the basics of advanced electric drive vehicles.

• Expand National AFV Day Odyssey, a nationwide, biennial outreach event to reach a new generation of consumers at the secondary school level on the subject of advanced electric drive vehicles.

“This project will have a tremendous impact and will provide the U.S. DOE with new and exciting materials to use when convincing target audiences to adopt advanced electric drive vehicles,” Ebron added. “The expertise of our partners will ensure that all materials developed reflect the very latest technology available.”

AED Kickoff

Sabre Engineering President Robert Schmitz makes a presentation during the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program kick-off meeting March 24. Credit: NAFTC

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