University of Northwestern Ohio student Ashley Howell is concerned about his future. He wants a job when he graduates, and he plans to secure one by exploring alternative fuels.
"Well, working on any of these vehicles is something that would interest me," said Howell.
Howell and hundreds of other students are taking part in the 2012 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey Day. However, UNOH instructors say the issue of alternative fuels is something everyone should be interested in.
"Biggest thing is how much you pay for gas. There's a lot of alternative fuels that are cheaper. Also you can go on to limit dependency of foreign oil, emissions, so it's cleaner. Also it might be helpful with the greenhouse effect. So there's a multitude of advantages," said Steven Klausing, alternative fuels instructor, UNOH.
The event includes speakers and demonstrations of several alternative fuel vehicles including one powered by natural gas.
"You look at the outside of the truck. It looks like an ordinary pickup with a toolbox, but it's running on compressed natural gas," said Howell.
IMPCO Automotive out of Indiana converts trucks to run on compressed natural gas for General Motors. Since the natural gas supply is high, costs are cheap. However, finding somewhere to fuel up is difficult, but company representative Keith Fields says that's changing.
"I think Ohio has 14 new stations coming in the works. So when the CNG infrastructure gets here and around the U.S. you're going to see a lot more of these trucks on the roads," said Fields.
Officials at UNOH believe alternative fuels like natural gas, propane, and electricity could become standard very soon.
"It's growing immensely. Just the people I talked to here they said they're hunting for people that are trained in this field," said Klausing.