WASHINGTON - The Alternative Fuels Trade Alliance will kick off its 2011 nationwide training program on alternative fuels at a workshop for fleet managers on Jan. 13 in San Diego.

This free workshop, to be held at San Diego Miramar College, is part of a nationwide series of 14 training seminars made possible by a $1.6 million grant from the Department of Energy. The workshops address alternative-fuel quality, infrastructure, available vehicles, safety, the latest technologies, and the environmental impact of propane autogas, ethanol, biodiesel and compressed natural gas.

The Alternative Fuels Trade Alliance comprises the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Foundation, and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation. 

"There are many reliable green vehicle options available to fleet managers," said Brian Feehan, vice president of PERC. "Customers are increasingly leaning toward eco-friendly businesses for their commerce decisions. This is definitely the time to learn more about the alternative-fuel options available to fleets and how these fuels provide cost savings measures for businesses."

At the workshop's ride-and-drive session, fleet managers also have the opportunity to get inside vehicles that run on alternative fuels. A CleanFuel USA-equipped GM G-4500 cutaway van fueled by propane autogas and owned by Expo Propane will be available for test-driving at this event.

Each of the full-day collaborative workshops involves a site in the Energy Department's Clean Cities program, which uses local coalitions to promote the use of alternative fuels such as propane autogas. The San Diego Clean Fuels Coalition will host the Jan. 13 workshop. Additional workshop sites for 2011 include Seattle; Orlando, Fla.; and Kansas City, Mo.

Propane autogas, the term for on-road vehicles, is the most widely used alternative fuel nationwide and worldwide. Vehicles fueled by propane autogas include trucks, vans, school buses and shuttles. Off-road equipment fueled by propane includes forklifts and commercial mowers.

To register for the San Diego workshop or another upcoming workshop, or to view an archived webcast, visit www.altfuelsalliance.org.