The Advanced Electric Drive (AED) Vehicle Education Program Advisory Committee recently met at the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium’s headquarters in Morgantown, W. Va.

The committee, which consists of experts in the fields of advanced electric drive vehicles, training, education and outreach, gathered Aug. 11 to learn about the progress of the AED program. Members include Lanny Adkins, West Virginia State Fire Training Academy; Gary Caille, Colorado State University; Gene Coulson, West Virginia Department of Education; Gerrill Griffith, West Virginia University Research Corporation; Tom Gross, formerly with the U.S. Department of Energy and now an independent consultant; Kevin Herdler, St. Louis Regional Clean Cities Program; Roy Nutter, West Virginia University; Andy O’Neal, University of Northwestern Ohio; Chris Peterson, Toyota; and Paul Williamson, University of Montana.

The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program, funded by a U.S. Department of Energy award under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is a public-private partnership with the mission of “Educating America on Next Generation Vehicles,” specifically battery electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles. Examples of items the program will feature include curricula, training, education and outreach activities, web-driven simulators, a website and support of National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey.

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

NAFTC staff members who participated in the meeting were Executive Director Al Ebron, Assistant Director of Training and Curriculum Development Micheal Smyth, Assistant Director of Communications and Outreach Judy Moore and AED Project Manager Amy Gandy.

Ebron discussed with the committee the current status of the project including items that have been completed, elements that are in process and items that will be completed in the future. He also reviewed the four curricula under the grant: First Responder Safety Training, Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Training for Technicians, Career and Technology Education Curricula and Electric Infrastructure Training.

“The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is benefiting tremendously from the committee members’ ideas,” Ebron noted. “These individuals have experience in the education, fire service, automotive and infrastructure industries; project management; marketing; and with federal and state governments. Their expertise is helping us make the program more relevant, user-friendly and technically accurate.”

Advisory Committee

The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program Advisory Committee meets at the NAFTC headquarters to learn about progress on the project. From left, clockwise, are Amy Gandy, Gary Caille, Roy Nutter, Micheal Smyth, Al Ebron, Gerrill Griffith, Paul Williamson, Chris Peterson and Andy O’Neal. Credit: NAFTC

Ebron and Gandy highlighted the exciting technical aspects of the program, such as the First Responder Safety Training phone app, which will provide emergency personnel with immediate electric drive vehicle information while at the scene of an accident.

“The committee members were also enthusiastic about the learning management system (LMS) that will offer online coursework,” Gandy explained. “The Toyota Prius cutaway training tool is another element that will give end users of the curricula a valuable education experience.”

Advisory Committee members also had the chance to view and drive the NAFTC’s new Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius.




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