National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium Director Bill Davis attended two conferences recently to provide West Virginians with information on the important roles alternative fuel vehicles will play in the future of the state.
The WV Department of Transportation and the Division of Highways hosted their Annual Transportation Planning Conference, a 3-day event supported by the Federal Highway Administration and the Metropolitan Planning Organizations for the purpose of covering a wide range of topics related to West Virginia’s highway and transportation future.
Davis presented at the event on Wednesday, September 21st hoping to inspire the committee to make considerations for a future highway system saturated with alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).
With more than 1.5 million AFVs on the road today, and West Virginia highways including several major interstates, various infrastructure changes will need to occur statewide in order to meet that goal. Davis provided the Planning Committee insight into what changes will need to occur in the next 10 to 15 years.
“By 2025, the conventional fuel options typically offered at a service station won’t be enough,” Davis remarked. “West Virginia has seen a wide demand for up-and-coming fuel markets such as electric drive, propane autogas, and natural gas.”
Davis offered information about the technicalities of infrastructure changes that will need to occur in order to meet the changing demands of the state highway’s patrons. “This could mean ensuring that the electrical systems are powerful enough to support level II or level III charging stations, or developing systems to pump alternative fuels directly to the consumer,” he said.
According to Davis, the presentations resulted in a lively discussion, with a wide range of questions from the audience. This gave Davis the opportunity to dispel myths about alternative fuels. He also discussed innovations and the challenges various fuel infrastructure systems face, such as wireless charging systems for electric drive vehicles.
The NAFTC presentation was preceded by a presentation from Kelly Bragg, energy development specialist for the WV Division of Energy and the WV Clean State Program, on alternative fuel vehicles, and the WV Clean State Program, a U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities coalition.
Davis also attended the Governor’s Energy Summit, titled Tackling America’s Energy Challenges. Speakers and presenters from around the country discussed topics such as the state of coal in 2016, natural gas electric generation, and electric vehicle charging stations at WV state parks.
The Governor’s Energy Summit gathers together leaders in the state’s energy industry to share ideas and research on emerging energy technology and market factors. Alternative fuels are featured prominently alongside traditional fuels in the speaker line up.
During the event Director of the WV Division of Energy Jeff Herholdt was celebrated for his long career and accomplishments in the WV Division of Energy, who conduct the Energy Summit. He will retire at the end of this month.
WV Division of Energy Director Jeff Herholdt and NAFTC Director Bill Davis are shown at the Governor’s Energy Summit. Credit: NAFTC.
“I am always happy to share the knowledge the NAFTC has to offer to our various partners around the nation. I hope the information I was able to provide will make things better for the future, because as we say at the NAFTC – together, we can make a difference,” said Davis.