The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium and one of its National Training Center members, University of Northwestern Ohio, were represented at the Association for the Work Truck Industry’s Work Truck Show, which also featured the Green Truck Summit.
NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron and Assistant Director Communications and Outreach Judy Moore attended the event March 5-8 in Indianapolis and exhibited materials from the Advanced Electric Drive (AED) Vehicle Education Program and the Clean Cities Learning Program (CCLP), both of which are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Ebron and Gordon Exel, vice president and general manager Americas with Cummins Westport, presented “Understanding and Working with Natural Gas Engine Technology” during the Green Truck Summit. The session explained that natural gas is a well established alternative fuel, but the technologies associated with engines specifically designed to utilize natural gas (and their associated fuel storage and induction systems) may be unfamiliar to many fleet managers and technicians. Ebron and Exel covered some of the significant issues associated with using natural gas engine technology and offered an overview of maintenance and repair issues typically encountered.
“One of the highlights of the Work Truck Show activities was displaying and promoting the NAFTC’s two largest, U.S. DOE-funded programs AED and CCLP,” Moore noted. “We had flyers and curricula available for fleet operators, industry representatives and educators to see, and it was exciting to inform them about these two programs, which provide tremendous educational opportunities for those groups, allowing them to excel in the alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle industry.”
In addition, George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, served as the keynote speaker at the President’s Breakfast and 48th Annual NTEA Meeting March 7. He offered his thoughts on eight years in the Oval Office, the challenges facing our nation in the 21st century, the power of freedom, the role of faith and other pressing issues. President Bush also participated in a question-and-answer session.
Also on March 7, the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program highlighted successful coalition projects during a poster session, offering attendees an interactive environment to promote valuable discussions about coalition projects. Attendees viewed posters created by contributing coalitions featuring project highlights, and Clean Cities coordinators were available to discuss featured coalition projects with attendees.
“The goal of this poster session is to show fleet managers real-world examples of successful petroleum-reduction projects and inspire them to explore options with their local coordinator and know that Clean Cities is here to help,” said Sandra Loi of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
In addition, UNOH Automotive Division Head Steven Klausing accompanied eight College of Applied Technologies students to the conference, an opportunity that allowed them to explore beyond the classroom and to gain real-world experience with others in the alternative fuel vehicle industry. They attended the show as ambassadors, thanks to a strong partnership between the university and NTEA. Students were selected after being nominated by their UNOH Instructors and going through an interview process.
“The students helped convention attendees and assisted throughout classes and seminars,” Klausing explained. “Students, by attending the show, benefited from the new technologies and were able to search for future employment opportunities. The students even got the opportunity to attend the Green Truck Summit, where work trucks are being run on natural gas, propane, hybrid electric/hydraulic and straight electric power.”
Featuring new products, training programs and technical engineering support from exhibitors, the Work Truck Show offers attendees the opportunity to interact with industry peers, meet with current suppliers, get answers to technical questions, experience special events and visit with exhibiting companies.
“The Work Truck Show and the Green Truck Summit were excellent opportunities to meet industry colleagues who are committed to making their fleets as environmentally friendly as possible,” Ebron commented. “I always enjoy seeing new ‘green’ products, and this event gave us the chance to learn about modern technologies that will have a positive impact on heavy-duty alternative fuel vehicles.”
According to the Work Truck Show website, the 2012 event saw more than 10,400 attendees, more than 560 exhibitors, 80 new product launches, 30 green products and 772 Green Truck Summit attendees. Produced in partnership with CALSTART, the day-and-a-half Green Truck Summit covered the application of green technologies and how they impact commercial trucks.