The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program, an initiative managed by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is part of a movement that will help America achieve energy independence and security.

During a recent speech at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama discussed his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, which outlines a three-part strategy for building a 21st century clean energy economy. Obama’s goals are to develop and secure America’s energy supplies, provide consumers with choices to reduce costs and save energy and innovate our way to a clean energy future.

“There are no quick fixes,” Obama said in his speech. “And we will keep on being a victim to shifts in the oil market until we get serious about a long-term policy for secure, affordable energy.

“We cannot keep going from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again,” he added. “The United States of America cannot afford to bet our long-term prosperity and security on a resource that will eventually run out. Not anymore. Not when the cost to our economy, our country and our planet is so high?It is time to do what we can to secure our energy future.”

In addition, Obama touted the benefits of electric vehicles, noting “there are few breakthroughs as promising for increasing fuel efficiency and reducing our dependence on oil as electric vehicles.” He also mentioned his goal of having “one million electric vehicles on our roads by 2015.”

In order to achieve the President’s goal, education and training must be available. The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is a public-private partnership designed to “Educate America on Next Generation Vehicles,” specifically advanced electric drive vehicles. The program features curricula, training, outreach and education activities, web-driven simulators, a website and support of National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey.

President Barack Obama inspects an AT&T all-electric vehicle

President Barack Obama inspects an AT&T all-electric vehicle on display during a tour of the UPS facility in Landover, Md., April 1. He later addressed the nation and reiterated his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future from the same facility. Credit: White House/Pete Souza

“This program presents an excellent opportunity for American consumers to learn about the benefits of advanced electric drive vehicles,” said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron. “More importantly, however, the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program supports the importance of these next generation automobiles by offering training to those individuals who will be up close and personal with their technologies. The specialized curricula targets first responders, automotive technicians, educators, electrical infrastructure engineers and consumers.”

The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is managed by the NAFTC, a program of West Virginia University, and is funded by a U.S. DOE grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program has the potential to reach more than 206 million people,” Ebron added. “We plan to meet that mark by promoting advanced electric drive vehicles at tradeshows and conferences, through advertising with print, broadcast and online outlets and by driving traffic to the project website. Consumers, fleet managers, businesses and public sector decision makers will become aware of viable alternatives to standard gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles, and with the training and education we offer, the goal of having one million electric vehicles on the roads by 2015 will become a reality.”

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