The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) once again participated in the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) Conference and Annual Meeting as a Trade Partner. The 2013 event was held June 10—12 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C.

The theme of this year’s conference was Unleash the Power, reflecting efforts to increase public awareness of electric drive technologies and increase product offerings in the marketplace. During the Opening Plenary Session, the current state and future direction of electric drive vehicles were discussed by presenters Brian Wynne, President, EDTA; MaryAnn Wright, Vice President Technology and Innovation, Johnson Controls; Gregory A. Ballard, Mayor, City of Indianapolis; and Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

NAFTC Acting Director William A. (Bill) Davis attended the conference, noting that “the EDTA Conference allowed the NAFTC to educate interested people and organizations about the electric vehicle training available under the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program. The sessions gave insight into where the industry is going.” Bill also served as moderator for the panel Training Tomorrow’s Innovators, during which panelists discussed the demands for a workforce prepared to work with advanced technology vehicles and how universities and other institutions are training individuals to meet that need. Bill commented that this session “gave attendees an understanding that we still have a long way to go in providing necessary education to make electric drive vehicles truly mainstream, but there are educational institutions and others making that happen now and continuing to prepare for the future.”

Other workshops offered at the conference covered topics such as electric drive policies, the latest advancements in batteries and fuel cells, electric drive infrastructure and charging options, and utilization of electric drive fleet vehicles. Participants had the opportunity to test-drive the latest electric drive vehicles at the Ride, Drive & Charge event. The conference wrapped up with a panel of leading automotive editors and journalists discussing how the electric drive industry can best utilize the media to raise awareness among the public.

EDTA banner

The 2013 Electric Drive Transportation Association Conference was held in Washington, D.C., June 10-12. Credit: EDTA.

DC Fast Charge Station

Charging units were a popular display item. Shown here is the Chevrolet DC Fast Charge Station exhibit. Credit: NAFTC

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