Citizens of Charleston, West Virginia may have noticed a group of alternative fuel vehicles on display at the State Capitol complex on Wednesday. This display was part of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium and the West Virginia Clean State Program’s two-day presentation of the Petroleum Reduction Technologies (PRT) curriculum.

“The PRT is a comprehensive look at alternatives to petroleum,” NAFTC executive director Al Ebron said. “We at the NAFTC are very excited to bring this training to our home state.”

Director of the West Virginia Division of Energy, Jeff Herholdt, examines the NAFTC’s cutaway Toyota Prius, hybrid electric vehicle training educator (HEVTE). Credit: NAFTC.

The first day consisted of a workshop on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Propane fueled vehicles, all state employees were invited to take the training. The day-long session featured presentations on the benefits of safety of propane and natural gas vehicles. Presenters included director of the West Virginia Division of Energy Jeff Herholdt, co-coordinator of the West Virginia Clean State program, Kelly Bragg, and Chesapeake Energy spokesperson Phil Pfister expo was on the north side of the Capitol Circle, and featured vehicles from the NAFTC, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, and the West Virginia Division of Energy.

“Using natural gas for transportation makes use of the state’s impressive resource,” said Herholdt. “Providing information to state employees about natural gas fuels dovetails with the work of the governor’s Natural Gas Vehicle Task Force, which is exploring the costs and benefits of using them in the state fleet.”

Chesapeake Energy spokesperson, Phil Pfister, presents on Natural Gas on the first day of PRT training in Charleston. Source: NAFTC.

The second day of the training was a train-the-trainer session, for Clean Cities coordinators, focused on the entire PRT curriculum. The curriculum has sections on each of the major alternative fuels, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Natural Gas, Propane, Hydrogen, and Electric Drive, as well as sections on Fuel Economy, Idle Reduction, Fleet Applications, and an overview of the importance of petroleum reduction technologies. In addition, Jeb Corey, the CEO of C&H Taxi, presented on his experience using electric drive vehicles in his fleet.

Over the two day training session, nearly 40 people attended.

“It was a great opportunity for the NAFTC,” NAFTC assistant director of Communications and Outreach Judy Moore said. “We were excited to once again showcase the PRT curriculum and all of its accompanying materials. We are very pleased with the success of the training and are encouraged for future PRT sessions across the country.”

The PRT curriculum was developed by the NAFTC as part of a grant from the United States Department of Energy Clean Cities Initiative . In addition to the PRT, the NAFTC also created a First Responder Safety Training curriculum as part of the Clean Cities Program. The Charleston session was the first of six PRT train-the-trainer sessions held across the country in the fall and winter of 2012.

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