Workshop attendees with a Chevy Volt at the Hinton Technology Center

The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, a program of West Virginia University, helped the West Virginia State Parks system personnel learn more about electric vehicle chargers that will soon be featured at state park lodges alongside the state’s natural beauty.

The state parks system worked with the West Virginia Division of Energy and its Clean State Program to secure the funding for the chargers and to arrange for the NAFTC to help state parks personnel learn about the new equipment. Nearly 30 staff members from across the state attended the workshop hosted in Hinton, West Virginia by Cris Meadows, Hinton city manager.

West Virginia Division of Energy Director Jeff Herholdt said, “Electric vehicles offer many benefits to West Virginia. These include using our coal resources as transportation fuels while reducing both fuel costs and the need to import petroleum. We are fortunate to be able to capitalize on the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium at WVU to help us chart a course for this important initiative.”

While state park systems in other states have a smattering of electric vehicle chargers, California is the only other park system that has a statewide electric vehicle charging program.

“This is a cool opportunity for West Virginia State Parks,” said Paul Redford, district administrator for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation. “We’ve always touted that West Virginia State Parks are a perfect place to visit to ‘unplug’ from life’s hectic pace. Now we can offer that visitors can ‘plug in’ their electric vehicles while ‘unplugging’ in nature.”

Event attendees learned about the importance of electric drive vehicles, their availability and electric vehicle supply equipment options. They also learned how using these vehicles can save the owners money, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and help clean up our air.

NAFTC Director Bill Davis commented, “The NAFTC is thrilled with the West Virginia State Parks system’s new electric vehicle charging program and the opportunity to help the parks personnel learn about the charging infrastructure. It’s great to see that West Virginia is on the cutting edge with this program and encouraging electric car owners to visit this state and see its natural beauty. NAFTC is always glad to be able to further the use of vehicles other than gasoline or diesel in its home state.”