The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) recently held a business meeting and professional development session in Long Beach, CA for consortium members. During the three-day event, participating members received electric drive vehicle infrastructure training, toured hydrogen filling stations, and a hybrid vehicle research and production facility, as well as visited a stationary fuel cell project.

The NAFTC unveiled a new Electric Drive Vehicle Infrastructure Training course to meeting attendees, during the Long Beach meeting. This course provides information that consumers, installers, and utilities need to better install the appropriate equipment for residential, public, and fleet customers using electric drive vehicles. The course covers the safety codes governing EV charging equipment, electrical requirements, and equipment options. It also details the electrical and building code requirements that apply to installers and users of electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), as well as the special needs of the different classes of EV users, homeowners (including multi-family residences), fleet facilities, and public access and commercial charging facilities. This training will be available in early 2013.

“The professional development meeting in Long Beach, CA gave members some unique opportunities. The two-day Electric Drive Vehicle Infrastructure Training was extremely well received by members. Great feedback was received and the course is going to be a great addition to the NAFTC curriculum package,” said NAFTC Acting Director Bill Davis.

Meeting attendees also toured two hydrogen stations owned by Shell Oil—one in Newport Beach, CA and another in Torrance, CA. Rick Scott, operations and safety coordinator, Shell Hydrogen provided the tours. Steve Ellis, manager of Fuel Cell Vehicle Marketing at American Honda Motor Company, provided a demonstration of the Honda Clarity FCV at the Newport Beach facility. Toyota Motor Sales Sustainability Strategy Manager Mark Yamauchi provided a fueling demonstration and vehicle overview of the Toyota FCHV–ADV.

In the AED Vodcast video below Richard Scott provides a brief overview of the Torrance hydrogen facility and Steve Ellis discusses fleet use of the Honda Clarity FCV in the Torrance area.

Following the station tours and vehicle demonstrations, meeting attendees viewed the stationary fuel cell on the Toyota campus in Torrance, CA. The proprietary proton exchange membrane (PEM) stationary fuel cell is the largest PEM fuel cell of its kind. The fuel cell is powered by hydrogen gas fed directly from a pre-existing industrial hydrogen pipeline, also a first for this technology. The fuel cell supplies approximately half of the electricity for six Toyota headquarters buildings during peak demand, while producing zero emissions. This direct power source allows Toyota to reduce utility grid electricity usage during peak power demand.

“While in Long Beach, the NAFTC took advantage of the location to look at other hydrogen vehicle facilities and operations,” said Davis. “The stationary fuel cell on the Toyota Motor Company campus was a great way for members to see the advantages of electric production that is in use and being tested for potential uses. The opportunity to see different methods of creating hydrogen to power fuel cells and fuel cell electric vehicles was very beneficial. One of the attendees made the comment that he really hadn’t understood the use of hydrogen until this meeting.”

Stationary Fuel Cell

Attendees at the NAFTC professional development meeting toured hydrogen stations and viewed the stationary hydrogen fuel cell on the Toyota campus during their stay in Long Beach, CA. Credit: NAFTC.

Following the fuel cell viewing, meeting attendees toured the research and production facilities of U.S. Hybrid, which specializes in the design and manufacture of power conversion systems for medium and heavy-duty electric, hybrid, and fuel cell commercial buses and trucks.

Davis commented, “The tour of the U.S. Hybrid facility and discussion with the owner and other staff gave members the opportunity to see how electric drive systems are being used in a variety of applications and how the electric vehicle training they are providing will provide their students with the opportunities to be in the forefront of the industry they are entering. Electric vehicles, whether light-duty highway, heavy-duty over-the-road or specialty vehicles for use in a myriad of applications are here and more are coming every day. “




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