More people have purchased plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles this year than any other in history. The numbers are staggering compared to last year; plug-in electric vehicle sales are up 207.6 percent, and hybrid sales are up 55 percent. We have also seen new developments in hydrogen fuel cell technology and biofuel productions. And, at the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, we have coordinated our largest alternative fuel awareness event yet, the 2012 National AFV Day Odyssey. So, we have been thrilled to see this continuing embrace of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, and we are pleased to share news of a landmark fall season in the industry and for the NAFTC.
Biennially since 2002, we have coordinated Odyssey, an awareness day for alternative fuel vehicles. Ten years ago, we felt like the nation needed a wider opportunity to learn about next generation vehicles, so Odyssey was created. This year, on October 18, we have projected that over 250,000 people gathered at approximately 160 Odyssey events across the United States, and a projected 100 million people, more than one third of the United States, were reached through media coverage.
Through Odyssey, we publicized the options available to policy makers, fleet managers, and the general public about the benefits of these vehicles to individuals and for our country. Additionally, this year we extended Odyssey’s messages to high school students across the country. Of the approximate 160 Odyssey events, 50 of them took place in secondary schools. These students will be tomorrow’s engineers, manufactures and consumers, and we want them to further the cause of greener transportation in the years to come.
A few weeks after Odyssey, I traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to accept the Automotive Training Manager’s Council’s National Excellence in Training Award for our Electric Drive Vehicle First Responder Safety Training package. We joined NAPA, AC Delco, Federal Mogul and Jiffy Lube as two-time winners of one of the most prestigious awards in our industry. We were greatly honored to receive this award from ATMC. We have worked hard training first responders about alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles as part of a grant we received from the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and were very pleased to see this training recognized.
The ATMC award, along with our extremely successful National AFV Day Odyssey, brought tremendous national exposure to the NAFTC, concluding a very productive fall. We look forward to continuing on, with new plans and projects on the horizon for the end of the year.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of us at the NAFTC if we can be of any assistance.