In recent years, interest in using alternative fuels like natural gas and propane has been growing across West Virginia, a state known for its natural beauty and rich natural resources. With Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s commitment keep the benefit of West Virginia’s natural gas and propane resources in the state, the fuel’s local infrastructure and availability will continue to increase and provide a positive economic impact on the state.

In fact, over the past year alone, several natural gas and propane fueling stations have been installed throughout the state, fueling economic and environmental change throughout the state.

With gasoline prices continuing to rise and natural gas and propane continuing to be the more economical fuel choices, local fleet managers are interested in learning more about how these fuels can improve their bottom line.

Fueling costs are some of the highest expenses that gasoline-powered fleets face. Because of the low cost of natural gas and propane, the use of these fuels can quickly offset the cost of conversion for vehicle fleets, making the use of these fuels a win/win for WV businesses.

Yet fleet managers may not be aware of the proper steps to take when making a successful fleet conversion.

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TJ Meadows of IGS Energy Services talks about how fleets can smoothly transition to natural gas at a workshop in Bridgeport, WV. Credit: NAFTC.

“It is vital that fleet managers be educated on how to make a smooth transition to natural gas and propane,” said Bill Davis, acting director of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium. “The transition can be made much more effectively when fleet managers are equipped with the knowledge and tools that they need in order to convert their fleets to natural gas and propane.”

That’s why this May the NAFTC traveled to Bridgeport and Charleston to host two free workshops—funded by the West Virginia Division of Energy Clean State Program—on how to successfully transition fleets to natural gas or propane.

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Hallie Mason director of public policy for WV Governor Tomblin discusses the criteria that was used to determine the most beneficial locations for CNG filling stations, at the Charleston workshop. Credit: NAFTC.

“The NAFTC is excited to be working with the state government to provide education to encourage more fleets and individuals to make the choice to move to clean burning fuels around our state,” said Davis. “Following up on the decision by Governor Tomblin to move state fleets to natural gas and the delivery of the first vehicles to the state highway department fleet, this series of workshops has—and continues to—provide natural gas and propane station providers, fleet managers, vehicle converters, state government personnel and others the chance to discuss how their businesses and organizations can best use these improvements to their advantage.”

The workshop series included a May 9 workshop at the Bridgeport Conference Center in Bridgeport, WV and a May 20 workshop at the Charleston Area Alliance building in Charleston, WV.

Each workshop provided a basic understanding of the fuels and their use in West Virginia, including the properties of natural gas and propane as transportation fuels, vehicle types, vehicle conversion, safety and maintenance issues, fuel availability and plans for growth. In addition, each workshop included panel discussions with local company representatives who have already switched to natural gas and propane vehicles to foster conversation among participants.

More than 70 fleet managers and interested stakeholders have attended the workshops.

FREE Workshop in Wheeling

A third and final workshop in the series will be held in Wheeling, WV on July 15. Attendance is free, and includes a complimentary lunch and several giveaways. Please pre-register here for your spot today.

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