More than 150 officials from West Virginia converged on the state capital for a workshop promoting the use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs).
Co-hosted by the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation, West Virginia Clean State Program, West Virginia Division of Energy and West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association; the event, titled “The Compelling Case for Natural Gas Vehicles,” occurred Feb. 16 at the NiSource/Columbia Gas Transmission Building in Charleston, W. Va.
The workshop focused on the advancement of shale gas in West Virginia and the state’s powerful, new tax credit for alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Event organizers said, given those factors, public and private fleets in West Virginia should consider NGVs.
“West Virginia’s interest in natural gas as an alternative fuel is exciting,” said Kelly A. Bragg, co-coordinator of the West Virginia Clean State Program, the state’s Clean Cities coalition, one of nearly 90 nationwide. “The workshop provided great information about the wide range of natural gas vehicles and conversions currently available as well as a peek into what the future holds. I hope that participants who already have knowledge and experience about the fuel learned some new things and those who need more information now know where to turn.”
National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) Executive Director Al Ebron attended the NGV workshop and participated in the day’s sessions, which included information about compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), refueling stations and tax incentives.
“The NAFTC began in 1992 as an organization dedicated to training automotive technicians on natural gas vehicles,” Ebron noted. “Since that time, the alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle industry has catapulted to include every fuel and technology imaginable. We at the NAFTC are excited to see the advancements in the natural gas industry, especially in our home state of West Virginia. I really believe there is a ‘compelling case for natural gas vehicles,’ both here in the Mountain State and all across the country.”
The workshop was moderated by Stephe Yborra, director of market analysis, education and communications for the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation.
Presentations covered the economic, environmental and national energy security market drivers that are prompting the move to CNG- and LNG-powered vehicles; which fleet and vehicle applications are the best candidates for successful NGV programs and why; available light-, medium- and heavy-duty NGVs and the sales-service channels that support them; fuel station design, development, ownership and operations options for fleets of all sizes; available tax incentives and grants that further improve NGV economics; NGV fleet operators’ experiences and tips on NGV program implementation; NGV program economics including how to calculate fuel costs, simple payback and life cycle savings; and tips on next steps toward building a successful NGV program.