The National Alternative Fuel Training Consortium (NAFTC) participated in the FedFleet Conference in Orlando, Fla., held July 26-28. The conference featured more than 175 vendors including NAFTC, keynote speakers and educational and professional development seminars.
The 2011 Fed Fleet Conference was hosted by the Government Services Administration Office of Governmentwide Policy, GSA Fleet Program and FedFleet’s Policy Council and Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy. These organizations represent the federal agencies that coordinate policy efforts to improve the management of and enhance the performance of transportation fleets.
The conference was attended by more than 1,000 stakeholders involved in fleet management and the transportation industry. Some of the attendees included fleet administrators from federal, state, and local governments; maintenance managers; vehicle manufacturers; alternative fuel vehicle and infrastructure providers; and industry partners.
NAFTC Assistant Director of Communications and Outreach Judy Moore and Project Manager Amy Gandy were both on hand to promote NAFTC’s mission to provide education and training for alternative fuel vehicles. They explained that many of the fleet managers are inundated with implementing plans to achieve future targets for fuel efficiency and lowered emissions.
“Fleet program managers are receptive to the new guidelines and making the changes,” noted Gandy, who serves as the project manager for the NAFTC’s Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program. “But, still a lot of education is needed on advanced technology vehicles. There was outcry for education and further information and training on making the change to alternative fuel vehicles.”
Many of the educational workshops featured seminars on overcoming current obstacles to meet the current and future federal guidelines set forth by President Barack Obama’s administration. The workshops were presented by administrators from GSA and other federal agencies, officials from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory and energy, transportation and technology systems consultants.
One of the more popular fleet seminars focused on how plug-in and all-electric vehicles can help agencies further their green fleet efforts while fulfilling goals to increase new acquisitions of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles. Other workshops included learning about the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) scorecard to meet and outperform green initiatives as well as continuing to meet an annual 2 percent petroleum reduction that has been a federal wide mandate since 2005.
Many of the fleet workshops focused on educating attendees about Obama’s Fleet Performance Memorandum released in May. They gained an opportunity to learn about approaches to meet the 100 percent alternative vehicle purchase mandate by 2015 and a 30 percent petroleum reduction by 2020.
Under this memorandum, the GSA will require that all federal agencies purchase light-duty alternative fuel vehicles including hybrids, electric, compressed natural gas and biofuels. The NAFTC took these important learning opportunities to provide outreach for their training courses that focus on each of these alternative fuels based approaches.
“Making the right choice to transfer a fleet starts with understanding the differences of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, which is an important component of the NAFTC’s mission for education and training,” Moore said. “This will allow the fleet manager to move forward with confidence and comply with the President’s mandate to change their fleets to alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicles by 2015.”
While many fleet managers remain apprehensive about transitioning to more fuel efficient and lower emission fleets and meeting future targets set by GSA, the NAFTC will remain committed to provide outreach, education and training to ease these important initiatives that will help federal and industry fleets produce a cleaner environment and reduce dependence on foreign oil.