At the intersection of energy security, a cleaner environment and sound economics awaits a brand new breed of cars, vans, trucks and buses called alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). On April 11, motorists can learn more about the benefits of AFVs through a nationwide event called the National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey.

West Virginia University will host an AFV Day Odyssey from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the vacant Lowes lot between WalMart and Sams Club on U.S. 119 in South Charleston, W.Va. Gov. Bob Wise, who will deliver the keynote address, and WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. are scheduled to be at the event between 9:30-10:15 a.m.

The event is the brainchild of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), a group of 20 higher education institutions headquartered at WVU .

“We want to bring national attention to cleaner, more energy efficient and smarter choices in transportation,”said Al Ebron, executive director of NAFTC . Over 70 organizations have signed on to conduct events in 51 cities across the U.S. all on the same day to heighten awareness of AFV use.

“This one-day Odyssey will be a dazzling display of how powerful the choice to use alternative fuel vehicles can be,”Ebron said. For 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that motor vehicles exhausted 51 percent of the carbon monoxide, 34 percent of the nitrogen oxides and 29 percent of the volatile organic compound emissions that cause smog.

At the South Charleston event, experts will provide information on hybrid electrics, biodiesel, poultry-derived biodiesel, liquid natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen for transportation.

A car care clinic by high school automotive students will offer free emissions tests, tire inspections and under-the-hood inspections to ensure Charleston area motorists that their gasoline-powered cars are running as cleanly and efficiently as possible. The students, who are from the Monongalia Technology Education Center in Morgantown and the Academy of Careers and Technology in Beckley, also will be showing off their entries in the Electric Vehicle Challenge which will be held in North Carolina at the end of April.

An AFV auto show will feature WVU and other alternative fuel vehicles while attendees can take advantage of free hotdogs and soft drinks.

Local sponsors include WVU s National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) and NAFTC , the West Virginia Development Office and the U.S. Department of Energy Region III Office. The events national sponsors include General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, U.S. Department of Energys Clean Cities program, American Honda Motor Company, Toyota Motor Sales, USA and national partner the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information about the local event or to register, visithttp://WVOdyssey.nrcce.wvu.eduor contact Tracy Novak at 304-293-2867, ext. 5421. For information about the national program,