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 will feature curricula, training, outreach and education activities, web-driven simulators, a website and support of National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey.
Herdler was named to the position because of his experience in clean air initiatives and the automotive field. Currently the executive director of the St. Louis Regional Clean Cities Program, he will serve in an advisory role to the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program for the next two years.
Herdler has been involved with the Clean Cities Program since its inception in 1993 and assisted in forming Atlanta’s Clean Cities Program in Georgia. After relocating to St. Louis in 1998, Herdler became involved with the St. Louis Regional Clean Cities Program and was appointed executive director in 2000. Herdler has worked in the automotive field for 39 years, having graduated from technical school as a diesel technician. He also is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
“Clean air is extremely important to me and to all Clean Cities coalitions,” Herdler said. “The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program will contribute to cleaner air in the United States. These next generation vehicles will produce significantly less emissions, and many of them emit no harmful substances. This project will teach people those facts and many other important findings.”
Funded by a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is managed by the NAFTC, a program of West Virginia University. The project will generate and disseminate a variety of outreach and education efforts including curricula for first responders, automotive technicians, educators, electrical infrastructure engineers, consumers and other related groups.
“Now more than ever, consumers, fleet managers, businesses and public sector decision makers need to be aware of viable alternatives to standard gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles,” said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron, the principal investigator for the program. “This is an energy security issue. The transportation sector represents this country’s largest area of energy usage, and more than half of that energy is imported. Also, alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles make sense because they are cleaner, which is so important for improving air quality, especially in our major cities.”