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NAFTC hits the road for alternative fuels


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) Director Bill Davis attended the  North American School Bus EXPO Conference & Trade Show (STN EXPO) and Green Bus Summit in Reno, NV from July 23 through 27, 2016.

The STN EXPO is presented by  School Transportation News magazine and is an annual conference that unites pupil transportation professionals from across the United States and worldwide.

The Green Bus Summit, an alternative fuels focused event included in the STN EXPO main conference agenda, is dedicated to allowing school bus operators, Clean Cities Coalition members, fuel and equipment suppliers, school administrators, vehicle manufacturers, and state and federal representatives to learn about alternative fuel buses.

During the Green Bus Summit, Davis presented a workshop titled “Propane: Fuel System and Infrastructure Overview” that provided a summary of propane infrastructure options available to school districts, either individually or in partnership with public/private entities. Davis also discussed how a propane autogas fuel system works and differs from diesel, introduced concepts of technical propane training available from NAFTC, and shared information about additional resources for researching whether this fuel path is right for them.

Davis commented, “The NAFTC’s involvement with the STN Expo and Green Bus Summit is a win-win for both organizations. Alternative fuel vehicle use in school buses is growing by leaps and bounds. All of the major bus manufacturers have offerings using alternative fuels. Having the NAFTC, as a fuel neutral organization, present at the Summit and share information on autogas training and maintenance was great for the attendees.”

“Participating in the Green Bus Summit also gave us a chance to make sure companies know that theNAFTC has training for medium-duty vehicles and especially school buses. Most attendees did not realize training was available for their technicians,” he continued.

The  Propane Education & Research Council sponsored the NAFTC’s participation in the conference.

Credit: School Transportation News magazine
—Credit: School Transportation News magazine

Propane Autogas Technology Forum

Earlier this month, Davis attended the  Propane Autogas Technology Forum (PATF) in Chantilly, VA.

PATF is led by the  National Renewable Energy Laboratory in partnership with the Propane Education & Research Council and the  U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities program. The meeting provided an open forum for candid discussion about how to expand the deployment of propane autogas vehicles and address market barriers.

Davis observed, “The Propane Autogas Technology Forum is a great opportunity for the NAFTC to interact with the propane industry and government agencies to determine where the industry is going and what needs to be instituted in the way of programs and measures for the growth of autogas vehicles. Because of our unique position of training technicians on the vehicles, the NAFTC is privy to comments that are beneficial in this environment. The information and insights gained also allow the NAFTC to plan for the future in supporting the autogas industry.”

During the event, propane industry stakeholders sought to address and identify the most significant technological and market barriers affecting propane expansion. The results of PATF will be used to develop consensus around growing the propane autogas industry and informing the ways in which research investments by PERC, DOE, and others can have the greatest impact.

PATF participants include propane producers and distributors; fueling infrastructure owners and operators; fueling infrastructure equipment manufacturers; vehicle original equipment manufacturers, conversion companies, and component manufacturers; policymakers; and fleet managers and end-users.