This October, the ten-year anniversary (sixth installment) of National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey was held at more than 150 sites across the United States, and internationally in Gothenburg, Sweden and Paris, France. Odyssey is a single day outreach initiative that educates the public on the importance of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle choices. Odyssey was founded and is coordinated by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium.

Each installment of Odyssey has been extremely successful, educating thousands and increasing awareness among millions. In 2012, more than 250,000 people attended Odyssey events which met out goal, and more than 200 million consumers were reached through the media and Internet, which more than doubled our goal. From a sampling of thousands of surveys completed by attendees at local Odyssey events, eighty-six percent said they will include AFVs/hybrids in test drives before making their next personal automobile purchase. This number represents a thirty-four percent increase from the attendees’ feelings before the event. Additionally, ninety percent of respondents favor expanding the alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle options available to consumers.

The national kickoff event for the 2012 Odyssey was held in Indianapolis’ White River State Park, and was hosted by the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition. The event featured vehicle displays, ride and drives and educational sessions throughout the day. During the event, Al Ebron, NAFTC executive director, presented a letter of support from U.S. senators, thanking the NAFTC, its partners and sponsors for the success of National AFV Day Odyssey.

National Media Kickoff Event Speakers: Jeff Wood, a representative for American Honda and president of Tom Wood Management; Martha Voss, the National Public Affairs manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.; LaQuine Roberson, the director of Americorps NCCC Atlantic Region; Al Ebron, NAFTC executive director; Chris Worden, district director for Representative Andre Carson; Ben Franklin portrayer, Ralph Archibald; Linda Bluestein, co-director, U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Initiative; and Kellie Walsh, executive director of the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition. Credit: NAFTC.

This letter was signed by some of the nation’s most influential U.S. senators, including Joe Manchin III and John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia; Richard G. Lugar of Indiana; Christopher A. Coons of Delaware; Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico; Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut; Barbara Boxer of California; Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland; John F. Kerry of Massachusetts; Ron Wyden of Oregon; Olympia J. Snowe of Maine; and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The NAFTC also hosted a pre-kickoff event for Odyssey at West Virginia University’s Mountainlair, in the heart of WVU’s downtown campus in Morgantown. Around 1,250 students, staff, and faculty of WVU experienced the Odyssey event; it was sponsored locally by the West Virginia Division of Energy/WV Clean State Program, Chesapeake Energy, and Alternative Fuel Solutions of Pennsylvania. Alternative fuel vehicles were on display and informational tables were set up to inform attendees on further details about the major alternative fuels.

Of the more than 150 Odyssey events, nearly 60 were held at secondary schools . Students learned about different alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles through presentations, vehicle displays, and other educational activities related to the subject.

To provide a further overview of the 2012 Odyssey, eNews is featuring summaries of several events from across the country. For more information on the individual events, please visit their links to the corresponding pages on the Odyssey official website.

Featured Local Odyssey Events:
Alabama Clean Fuels and Lawson State Community College—Birmingham, Alabama
Barton Community College—Great Bend, Kansas
California Auto Museum—Sacramento, California
Center for Sustainable Energy—Bronx, New York
Clean Cities Atlanta and Simon Properties—Atlanta, Georgia
Clean Cities Coachella Valley Region (C3VR) and the Palm Springs Sustainability Department—Palm Springs, California
Eastern Tennessee Clean Fuels—Knoxville, Tennessee
Ohio State—Columbus, Ohio
Penn State—University Park, Pennsylvania
Rogue Valley Clean Cities—Medford, Oregon
Southeast Florida (Gold Coast) Clean Cities—Miami, Florida
Southwestern Community College—Creston, Iowa
Tucson Regional Clean Cities—Tucson, Arizona
Wayne State University and Clean Energy Coalition—Detroit, Michigan
Wenatchee Valley College—Wenatchee, Washington
Wisconsin Clean Cities—Month of Odyssey

Wenatchee’s Odyssey event in Washington became a focal point on its campus in October as multiple alternative fuel vehicles were set up around the Wenatchee Valley College fountain. Credit: Wenatchee Valley College.

Ohio State’s EcoCAR2 team displayed a Volt and its EcoCAR2 Chevy Malibu on the Columbus campus for its Odyssey event. Credit: Ohio State’s EcoCAR2 team.

The Clean Energy Coalition provided its Chevy Volt for display at Wayne State University’s Odyssey event in Detroit, Michigan. Credit: Clean Energy Coalition.

A main feature of the Southeast Florida Clean Cities Coalition was an EV riding track. Attendees were taken around the track by professional drivers in Nissan Leafs, Chevy Volts, Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, and Fisker Karmas. Credit: Terry Yeager, Florida Power & Light Company.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and author Doug Fine at Tucson’s Odyssey event, “An Evening with Doug Fine.” Credit: Tucson Regional Clean Cities.

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