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UCF’s FSEC to Establish Statewide Alternative Fuel Vehicle Training for First Responders

April 8, 2015 by Clean Cities

The University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), host of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition, was selected to establish an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) training network for the state of Florida that adapts safety and technical training based on existing curricula for local needs. This project will establish training on electric drive, compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane vehicles for first responders, college instructors, tow-truck operators, and salvage/recycling operators.

The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program at $600,000 over a two-year period and starting later this month, will bring together Florida’s Clean Cities Coalitions and their stakeholders to increase the acceptance and deployment of AFVs.

The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition, in partnership with CareerSource Brevard, has demonstrated both the need and demand for this type of training as they have supported classroom, online, and hands-on instruction for nearly 200 local public safety officers.

“Dealing with alternative fuel vehicles in an emergency situation is new to many first responders. Our training provides assurance that our public safety officers are prepared to deal with alternative fuel vehicles when responding to traffic incidents, protecting both the public and the officers from harm.” says Colleen Kettles, coordinator of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition.

According to Battalion Chief and EMS Training Officer Greg Sutton of the Titusville Fire and Emergency Services Department, the first responder training “makes you realize how little you really know about [AFV] vehicles even though we in the fire service have a basic knowledge of them. The technology and mechanics involved are ever changing and I know our crews have a greater confidence in how they will approach these types of vehicles from now on.  Making a vehicle “safe” prior to operating in and around it is priority in our field when dealing with vehicle accidents, fires and other emergencies.”

Working with the National Alternative Fuel Training Consortium, the training will be offered statewide.

This project is one of 11 announced by the U.S. Department of Energy last month, aimed at improving potential AFV buyers’ experiences through on-the-road demonstrations of alternative fuel and plug-in electric vehicles, supporting safety-related training, and integrating alternative fuels into emergency planning.

About Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition
The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition is a non-profit corporation administered by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) at the Cocoa campus. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Coalition supports sustainable transportation practices, through efforts to advance deployment of alternative fuel technologies, mass transit projects, and fleet optimization measures. The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition territory encompasses a ten-county area consisting of Brevard, Flagler, Indian River, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia Counties. For more information about the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition, visit or contact Colleen Kettles at, 321-638-1004.

About FSEC
The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research institute in the nation. Current research activities include Advanced Energy Research: alternative transportation fuels, batteries, hydrogen and fuel cells; Buildings Research: energy-efficient buildings; and Solar Energy: solar water and pool heating, photovoltaic (solar electric) systems, testing, and certification. For more information about the center, visit or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at 321-638-1015.

America’s Partnership University
The University of Central Florida, the nation’s second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students, has grown in size, quality, diversity and reputation in its first 50 years. Today, the university offers more than 200 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations. UCF is an economic engine attracting and supporting industries vital to the region’s future while providing students with real-world experiences that help them succeed after graduation. For more information, visit

Orlando unveils new ‘clean’ garbage trucks

April 3, 2015 by Clean Cities

“Clean” garbage trucks? Orlando mayor unveils new natural gas-powered fleet

By Orlando Sentinel contact the reporter

While it may not be the first word that comes to mind when describing a vehicle built to haul trash, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Tuesday unveiled five “clean” garbage trucks.

The trucks, which run on compressed natural gas, are the newest additions to the city’s “green fleet” of hybrid and gasoline-alternative vehicles, part of an effort to reduce emissions and limit fuel consumption.

“These vehicles are saving the city significantly, both economically and environmentally,” Dyer said.

The new trash collectors will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 12.5 tons per year, officials said, equivalent to pulling 325 cars off the road or planting 600 mature trees.

The trucks cost $343,683, according to Heather Fagan, Dyer’s deputy chief of staff, who said the city plans to apply for state rebates to cover some of the cost.

Dyer called Orlando the “greenest” city and fleet in the southeast United States. The city’s “green fleet” now includes 36 vehicles, including electric vehicles and hybrids.

“The cars and trucks that are in front of you demonstrate our overall efforts to incorporate new vehicle technology to reduce and eliminate the consumption of gasoline, diesel fuel and biodiesel,” Dyer said.

In addition to reducing emissions, the new trucks operate 90 percent quieter than traditional diesel-fueled garbage vehicles, city officials said.


2015 Vehicle Buyer’s Guide Available

February 20, 2015 by Clean Cities
Annual guide helps you compare and evaluate alternative fuel vehicles to make sound purchasing decisions

The Clean Cities 2015 Vehicle Buyer’s Guide is now available online and for order at no charge through the EERE Publication and Product Library. Consumers and fleet managers have relied on the annual guide for years as a comprehensive and unbiased source of information for evaluating alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) options. The 2015 version promises to meet, if not exceed, that tradition.

Today, hundreds of light-duty AFV and advanced technology vehicle models can be purchased. For example, the 2015 model year features nearly 200 AFV and hybrid electric vehicle models, including more than 80 flex-fuel vehicles. This guide provides model-specific information such as vehicle specifications, manufacturer suggested retail price, fuel economy, energy impact, and emissions. Drivers can use the information to identify options, compare vehicles, and make more informed purchase decisions.

2015buyingguideOf particular importance to fleet managers, AFVs not only reduce petroleum use and save on fuel costs but help meet federal, state, and municipal requirements for reducing carbon. In fact, there are now approximately 20 million light-duty AFVs on American roads.

For those who prefer to make vehicle evaluations and comparisons online, the Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search tool on the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is convenient and interactive. The database includes medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as well. For a guide specific to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, download the Clean Cities Guide to Alternative Fuel and Advanced Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles or order a copy through the EERE Publication and Product Library.

New AFV offerings roll out continuously, and neither the documents nor the database are absolutely inclusive. If you are aware of a new offering or model change, please alert the Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team so we can update the information.

blog post written by Kathryn Ruckman, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
For more information:
Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team




Nov 12th WORKSHOP: Central FL Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEFA)

November 10, 2014 by Clean Cities

CEEFA Workshop November 2014

CEEFA Workshop November 2014

Albany firefighters train on hybrid cars

October 27, 2014 by Clean Cities

IMG_4138.JPGBrent Belcher, Toyota of Albany , left, instructs Jason Ribolla (white shirt) and other firefighters on Toyota hybrid cars. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

ALBANY — In the event of a vehicle emergency, firefighters are trained on how to safely enter a disabled vehicle and free its occupants. But times are changing and not all vehicles operate with standard internal combustion engines. Responders could face unfamiliar dangers in the form of extremely high voltage.

That’s why a dozen or so members of the Albany Fire Department were at Toyota of Albany on Ledo Road this past week, poking around the innards of some high-tech hybrid cars. “It a whole different thing with a hybrid,” said Jason Ribolla, training officer at the AFD. “These cars are silent when they’re running on electricity and if you don’t know what you’re doing, power goes to the wheels and the vehicle starts to move.”

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