Recently, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) ushered in a new era as consortium members traveled to Sanford, FL to learn more about propane autogas vehicles and share their knowledge and experiences with each other.
The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) hosted NAFTC Expo I from May 14 to 16 at Seminole State College, underwritten with support from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
Similar NAFTC events were previously called Professional Development meetings. When he took over as Acting Director of the NAFTC last year, Micheal Smyth made a commitment to update the content and name of these meetings and host a minimum of two each year.
“We really believe that getting our consortium members together like this is one of the most important aspects of what we do,” Smyth commented. “Everyone collaborates on training problems, and learns how other instructors and technicians see things.”
The event featured updated propane training and activities with the ATech Bi-fuel Engine Performance Trainer and the ICOM North America propane system installed in the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Training Educator (HEVTE).
PERC and the NAFTC collaborated to create a training curricula, Propane Autogas Vehicle Technician Training, and to host no-cost educational sessions across the country for interested automotive technicians, fleet managers, school bus maintenance personnel, and other parties interested in propane autogas technologies.
Stuart Flatow, vice president of safety and training at PERC explained, “The propane course was developed with input from the propane industry, original equipment manufacturers, and automotive instructors associated with technical learning institutions. It was great to get everyone together to see how it has developed.”
Recently ATech Training, in collaboration with the NAFTC, ICOM North America, and PERC, designed, constructed, and donated to the NAFTC a bi-fuel engine performance educator to support this training course. The training unit, a fully functioning, stand-mounted gasoline and propane bi-fuel engine, allows students to see the workings of a bi-fuel vehicle running on propane autogas and gasoline, from fuel tank to injectors, and to diagnose faults placed in the system by the class instructor through both electronic and mechanical means.
NAFTC training aids, like the ATech training unit and HEVTE, are available to consortium members to use upon request for events or training sessions.
Expo attendees also heard about propane industry news and system advancements from PERC, ATech Automotive, Blossman Gas, ICOM North America, Roush CleanTech, and Superior Energy Systems. The NAFTC has opened up their Expos to presentations from industry and private sector entities that can bring information to NAFTC member schools that will assist them in keeping their alternative fuel vehicle program successful.
Getting to Know Each Other
The three-day meeting gave members a chance to get to know each other and the NAFTC staff.
On the final day of the event, attendees traveled to Kennedy Space Center to tour the facilities and view displays.
Patrick English, professor of automotive technology from Ferris State University commented, “I’ve gained a lot of information and education from this event, but I’ve also gained a lot of contacts that are going to help me get this information out to the people who need it.”
A short video of the NAFTC Expo I at Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida can be viewed below.
NAFTC Expo II will be held October 28–29 in Las Vegas, Nevada in conjunction with the NAFTC’s AFV partnership with AAPEX. Participating attendees will receive free entry to the SEMA/AAPEX show October 30 through November 1, 2018.
To learn more about joining the NAFTC and attending NAFTC Expo II, call the NAFTC at 304-293-7882 or email Micheal Smyth, Acting Director of the NAFTC at firstname.lastname@example.org.