The National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey National Media Kickoff Event will occur at 9 a.m. Thursday, October 14, in New York City’s Union Square.

Hosted by New York City Lower Hudson Valley Clean Communities (NYCLHVCC) and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the occasion will serve as the official kickoff for the more than 100 Odyssey events taking place across the country on October 15.

Coordinated by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, Odyssey brings together many organizations, vehicle manufacturers and businesses to showcase alternative transportation technologies and their benefits.

“We anxiously await the opportunity to kick off National AFV Day Odyssey,” said Al Ebron, NAFTC executive director and Odyssey coordinator. “This event has served as the pulse across America for the promotion of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. It is the largest event of its kind, and we are proud of its mission as we seek to empower fellow Americans to find out what they can do to become part of the solution to challenges associated with the nation’s dependence on petroleum.”

NYCLHVCC Executive Director Christina Ficicchia said, during the kickoff, her organization and its stakeholders will showcase an array of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles that are operating in the NYC region.

“With the largest mass transit system in the nation, NYC’s transportation network is only getting ‘greener’ as the number of vehicles that transport our goods and services grows to include more AFVs and advanced vehicle technologies,” she explained. “This event will give residents an opportunity to get a first-hand look at a diversity of AFVs and advanced vehicles that our city agencies and companies use every day. As hosts of the National (AFV) Day Odyssey kickoff, NYCLHVCC is excited to share our successes with the rest of the country.”

Nationally sponsored by Toyota, Honda, Eaton Corporation and Think, the 2010 Odyssey event is partially supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, which awarded grants to the NAFTC and its partners for the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the Clean Cities Learning Program.

One of the goals of the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is to provide educational materials to secondary school teachers and students about these next generation cars and trucks. In addition, the AED grant provides funding for secondary school sites to sign up to host an Odyssey event.

“Today’s secondary school students may become tomorrow’s engineers, technicians and consumers of alternative fuel vehicles,” Ebron noted. “It is important secondary school students learn about the benefits and challenges of alternative fuel and advanced electric drive vehicles.”

This year with more than 100 events taking place on October 15, the NAFTC anticipates reaching more people than ever. Each event is designed to help individuals promote the use of and learn more about alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, so they can make better choices in transportation.

For more information about Odyssey, visit www.nationalafvdayodyssey.org.

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