WVU-based NAFTC acquires Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle delivered to Morgantown facility

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August 11, 2011 by Judy Moore, National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, and Trina Wafle, National Research Center for Coal and Energy

Morgantown, W.Va. – The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium of West Virginia University recently added a high-tech vehicle to its collection of tools used to train and enlighten first responders, public decision makers and potential consumers about alternative fuel vehicles.

NAFTC will hit the road with a 2011 Chevy Volt when its experts pursue an aggressive schedule to advance the public’s knowledge about alternative fuel vehicles through a program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Touted as the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle with extended range, the Volt

Chevy Volt parked at NAFTC's training facility in Morgantown, WV.

Chevy Volt parked at NAFTC’s training facility in Morgantown, WV.

provides a total range of up to 379 miles and features a General Motors’ Voltec propulsion system, which delivers between 25 and 50 miles of all-electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature.

The Volt is powered by a 16-kilowatt hour (kWh), lithium-ion battery. When the battery runs low, a gasoline-powered generator operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.

NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron said the vehicle, “not only will help us promote the importance of electric drive vehicles in lessening our dependence on foreign oil and contributing to cleaner air, but it will also be an incredibly valuable teaching tool when training first responders, automotive technicians, consumers and high school and college students.”

In fact, the NAFTC staff immediately put the new vehicle into service at its Professional Development Meeting in July at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, Maine. NAFTC members from universities, community colleges and high schools participated in a day-long training session that focused on the Volt and Eaton Corporation’s charging stations.

The NAFTC’s Volt purchase was made possible by the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program, a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under ARRA. The program’s mission is to “Educate America on Next Generation Vehicles,” specifically battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles. The initiative features curricula, training, outreach and education activities, web-driven simulators, a website and support of National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey.

The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program is managed by the NAFTC. The program will generate and disseminate a variety of outreach and education efforts including training and curricula for first responders, automotive technicians, educators, electrical infrastructure engineers, consumers and other related groups.

– NRCCE –

CONTACT: Judy Moore, (304) 293-7882

The NAFTC is a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University.