Technician Training for Alternative Fuels

Like conventional vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) require proper maintenance. That's why it is important to have trained technicians to properly maintain and service AFVs. Technicians must understand the differences between various fuels and fuel systems and have a good understanding of maintenance schedules and AFVs components.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) fully back the alternative fuel vehicles they produce with standard warranties, adequate parts inventory, and trained technicians. And training classes are available for mechanics wishing to enter the field. The following organizations offer technician training for alternative fuel vehicles.

Clean Vehicle Education Foundation (CVEF) 

CVEF manages a U.S. Department of Energy-underwritten program that increases awareness of compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinder inspection requirements and encourages natural gas vehicle owners to periodically have their tanks inspected. Go to the CVEF website to locate certified cylinder inspectors, learn about cylinder safety inspection training courses, and find out how to apply for scholarships.

National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) 

NAFTC is a nationwide alternative fuel vehicle training organization that develops curricula, conducts training and outreach activities, and manages programs. The organization presently offers more than 35 courses and workshops and includes nearly 50 national and associate training center members nationwide. Visit the NAFTC website for more information.

National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) 

NATEF evaluates technician training programs and providers against automotive industry standards and, if appropriate, recommends them for certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, commonly known as ASE. Visit the NATEF website for certified entry-level programs and certified in-service training providers.

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) 

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has established an Alternative Fuels Series designed to identify and recognize those technicians who can demonstrate knowledge of the skills necessary to diagnose, service, and repair compressed natural gas vehicles. To earn ASE certification, technicians must pass the ASE Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle (F1) Test and present proof of at least two years of relevant work experience. The test consists of 55 multiple-choice questions. Technicians may substitute two years of relevant formal training for up to one year of the work experience requirement.

Natural Gas Vehicle Institute (NGVI) 

NGVI offers natural gas vehicle education, in-house training, and public education forums, technical assistance, and awareness programs for government, utility companies, suppliers, and customers. For more information, visit the NGVI website.

Community College-Based Training 

Community colleges across the nation offer certificate programs in a variety of courses focused on AFV maintenance. Technology courses cover vehicles powered by ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen, electricity, propane, and natural gas. Contact your local community college for full details about their offerings. Local Clean Cities coordinators can also identify local training facilities.