The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) recently added a high-tech vehicle to its collection of tools used to train and enlighten first responders, public decision makers and potential consumers about alternative fuel vehicles.

NAFTC will hit the road with a 2011 Chevy Volt when its experts pursue an aggressive schedule to advance the public’s knowledge about alternative fuel vehicles through a program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Touted as the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle with extended range, the Volt provides a total range of up to 379 miles and features General Motors’ Voltec propulsion system, which delivers between 25 and 50 miles of all-electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature.

The Volt is powered by a 16-kilowatt hour (kWh), lithium-ion battery. When the battery runs low, a gasoline-powered generator operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.

“We are extremely excited to acquire this 2011 Chevy Volt at the NAFTC,” said Executive Director Al Ebron. “Not only will we use it to promote the importance of electric drive vehicles in lessening our dependence on foreign oil and contributing to cleaner air, but it will also be an incredibly valuable teaching tool when training first responders, automotive technicians and high school and college students.”

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The NAFTC’s 2011 Chevy Volt is a valuable teaching tool when training first responders, automotive technicians and high school and college students. Credit: NAFTC

In fact, the NAFTC staff immediately put the vehicle into service at its members’ Professional Development Meeting July 27-29 at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, Maine. NAFTC members from universities, community colleges and high schools participated in a daylong training about the Volt and Eaton Corporation charging stations.

The NAFTC’s Volt purchase was possible by the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program, a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The program’s mission is to “Educate America on Next Generation Vehicles,” specifically battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles. The initiative features curricula, training, outreach and education activities, web-driven simulators, a website and support of National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey.

The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is managed by the NAFTC. The program will generate and disseminate a variety of outreach and education efforts including training and curricula for first responders, automotive technicians, educators, electrical infrastructure engineers, consumers and other related groups.

“This program presents an excellent opportunity for American consumers to learn about the environmental benefits of advanced electric drive vehicles,” Ebron added. “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.”




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