The Alt Fuels Demonstration Library (AFDL), a YouTube Channel project spearheaded by Tennessee Clean Fuels, is live as of September 25, 2020 – just in time to celebrate the beginning of National Drive Electric Week (NDEW)! To celebrate the week, “a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more,” the AFDL has produced over a dozen electric vehicle (EV)-centric videos, including EV testimonials, demonstrations of vehicle operation and features, showcases of electric charging infrastructure, and profiles of organizations that utilize EVs in their fleets.
The AFDL project is another example of successful collaboration between two DOE-designated Clean Cities Coalitions, East Tennessee Clean Fuels (ETCleanFuels) and Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels (MWTCleanFuels). To collect enough materials to produce and launch the Channel in time for NDEW, the two Coalitions leveraged their many EV connections across the state, including electric vehicle OEMs, local utilities, individual EV owners, community electric vehicle clubs, and the teams created through the statewide DriveElectricTN initiative.
While the Channel currently focuses mainly on electric vehicles because of the launch’s proximity to a week dedicated to raising electric vehicle awareness, the goal of the Channel is to provide demonstrations, tours, testimonials, webinars, and other content that informs viewers about the benefits of all alternative fuels. Beyond electric vehicles, Tennessee Clean Fuels’ teams also help to speed adoption of ethanol (E85), biodiesel (B20 and other blends), natural gas (CNG, LNG, RNG), and propane (LPG).
The staff behind the project have received so much material for various alt fuel demonstrations that they will be working to produce and catch up with the backlog for months! “I’m so pleased to see such excitement from our alt fuels partners about this project. We’re always looking for novel ways to reach people about the environmental, economic, and social benefits of reducing petroleum usage, and seeing the great response here is really heartening,” reflects project leader Daniel Siksay.
Designing the Channel and the video content that will be permanently hosted there is a team effort. Sarah Roth, ETCleanFuels’ Data Management Coordinator and one of the four staff to help develop the Channel, explains her vision: “YouTube’s platform allows us to take advantage of some unique tools to give visitors access to bite-size snippets of alt fuels information,” says Sarah. “We’ve built the Library to allow people around the world to watch, learn, and even contribute content, building a community of alt fuels advocates that can push for cleaner, more sustainable transportation options.” In addition to comment spaces on each video, the team plans to create a portal on the TNCleanFuels website where contributors can submit content for inclusion.
Staff time for the project is made possible in part by funding from the US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program. While just two of the 90+ Clean Cities Coalitions around the country have contributed to the project so far, the team is excited to offer the opportunity to other Coalitions to contribute content in the future. Contributors for the first round of videos available on the channel include the Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association, Metro Nashville, the Knoxville Utilities Board and Earth Rideshare.