U.S. DOE awards $800k for curricula to include untapped alternative fuel vehicle safety training audiences

The NAFTC recently was awarded $800,000 for the “Alternative Fuel Vehicle Curriculum Development and Outreach Initiative.” The NAFTC was among 11 national projects to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Building on a previous U.S. DOE Clean Cities grant, the NAFTC will continue the development of curricula on alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles to serve new audiences instrumental in the development and success of these vehicles. These audiences include collision repair personnel; fueling, maintenance, and repair facility personnel; tow truck operators; and salvage yard and recycling operators. These safety related courses will follow the highly successful First Responder Safety Training series that has become the industry standard.

With more than 3.2 million alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles on U.S. roads today, these cars are becoming more and more commonplace. Yet how many of us have considered what happens after these vehicles outlive their usefulness? What happens to your Prius after an accident or when it finally ends up in a salvage yard?

As the number of alternative fuel vehicles on roadways increases, the need for properly trained personnel also grows to make sure alternative fuel vehicles are repaired, recycled, and disposed of safely.
The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), with the mission of strengthening energy security and creating a cleaner environment by promoting alternative fuel vehicles, is ‘out front’ in developing training for the safety of American workers in the automotive industry.

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The NAFTC staff looks forward to working again with the U.S. DOE and expanding alternative fuel vehicle safety training to new automotive groups. Credit: NAFTC.

The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Curriculum Development and Outreach Initiative will have a national impact and establish resources that will last beyond the project’s completion through online courses and a network of trained safety instructors.
“This new funding will allow the NAFTC to continue to lead the way in ensuring that everyone coming into contact with an alternative fuel vehicle is trained to safely work with it,” said NAFTC Director Bill Davis.

“We are the only nationwide organization that provides training in all available alternative fuel vehicles,” said Davis. “We have learned that while they are as safe as traditional gasoline cars, alternative fuel vehicles are different, as are the safety procedures that workers need to follow in dealing with them. The need for proper training really extends to a much larger audience than anyone previously considered.”

This project allows the NAFTC to continue its close working relationship with the U.S. DOE, U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program, and Clean Cities coalitions across the country.

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