U.S. training organisation converts hybrid electric car to Autogas


The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) and ICOM North America, manufacturer of Autogas conversion systems, have teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind vehicle and an investment for future NAFTC students. The vehicle converted is the NAFTC Hybrid Electric Vehicle Training Educator (HEVTE), a heavily modified third generation Toyota Prius, which now can run on LPG, in addition to gasoline and the hybrid system.

The HEVTE spent several days at ICOM North America headquarters in Michigan being fitted with a tri-fuel turn key Autogas system and an upgraded bug box to diagnose problems within both the Autogas and electric drive systems.

“NAFTC’s cutaway Prius is a great example of our ability to work together for advanced alternative fuels systems training,” ICOM Technical Manager Albie Venezio commented. “The system starts on gasoline, converts to Autogas and then goes into a hybrid mode when necessary, and from there on out it is always going to Autogas and battery.”

The HEVTE has been used in some Autogas training sessions since the conversion allowing students to get a closer look at a LPG fuelling system in action and to diagnose and repair issues within that system. “The students that have seen the new system in the cutaway Prius have certainly benefited,” said NAFTC Interim Director Micheal Smyth.

“We are always interested in any project that helps to better evolve the industry. Autogas training is extremely important in today’s evolving automotive world. We are focused on training new and upcoming automotive techs to be prepared for the alt-fuel world,” added Venezio.

The NAFTC is nationwide training organisation dedicated to promoting, supporting and expanding the use of alternative fuel, and is headquartered at West Virginia University. For more information, please visit this link.