EV training: Is your garage ready for electric vehicles?

No matter how you feel about it, the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is coming. Whether you think they are the future or just a new trend never destined to catch on, the UK government has plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 with green travel being the priority. This means that garages up and down the country need to be prepared.

There are many benefits to electric vehicles, a key one being the lack of a combustion engine in the car which means that there are no tailpipe emissions released into the environment. EVs are also cheaper to refuel over their petrol/diesel counterparts along with costing less to run, receive maintenance and be serviced.

However, with petrol and diesel cars still dominating our roads, the expertise required to work on electric vehicles is currently quite limited. Many EV owners are taking their cars to the dealership they bought the vehicle from for simple repairs and general maintenance, cutting out local garages in the process.

As more people start buying EVs, this new technology will demand new EV skill requirements from technicians at local and independent garages. This is one of the main reasons why garages should be seeking to train up their staff to work on EVs safely; however, there are also many other reasons why this form of upskilling should be invested in.

Why should I invest in EV training?

  • Health and Safety
    Whilst most technicians will be adept at managing the risks associated with a traditional vehicle, an electric vehicle can be very dangerous if not handled correctly and so training is required for health and safety purposes. With approximately 650V of power, your insurance could be quickly invalidated due to lack of training and not having the correct procedures in place.

  • Differences in vehicle type
    Electric vehicles are similar to petrol and diesel cars in the sense that they require services and maintenance. It’s important to keep in mind though that there are differences between these types of vehicles and technicians will need retraining in order to work on EVs.

  • Qualification requirements
    Specialist qualifications and training from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) are a requirement to ensure that technicians can work on these EVs safely.

With the number of electric vehicles on our roads set to increase to 12.7m over the next decade, the UK will need around 75,000 technicians with the skills to work on EVs. Getting your team trained up early will put your business ahead of the game in targeting this growing market.

There is currently relevant funding and opportunities to ensure work is carried out safely and that garages aren’t missing out through lack of specialised training for EVs. By upskilling your team and yourself through specialised programmes, you can be confident in safely working on electric and hybrid vehicles from all manufacturers, ensuring you get new customers who own EVs and that they keep coming back to you for servicing and maintenance.

Some garages in and around the Dundee area have already undergone EV training with Dundee and Angus College and have used the training to improve their business offering. Callum Copland from CD Copland Motors said, “I took so much from the course that I’m implementing all my staff onto it so that I have everyone trained up to the same standards, eliminating any risk of injury or damage.”

What EV training does D&A College offer?

Dundee and Angus College has short, specialist EV training courses for light EVs that are recognised by the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) and can upskill your current team, helping your business to achieve its IMI TechSafe Certification.

Our suite of training consists of three levels of courses, from introductory to advanced, catering to anyone in the motor industry, from fleet drivers and sales staff to recovery technicians and emergency service staff. The training covers routine maintenance and vehicle system repair and replacement for EVs.

See how Scotland’s primary emergency services have been trained by D&A College to work on their own EV fleets:

You can explore our EV training courses for businesses here.

Case study: McGill’s Buses Heavy Electric Vehicle Training

(L-R): Stephen Swinley, Head of Curriculum and Quality for Engineering at D&A College, Caryn Gibson, Business Partnerships Manager at D&A College, and Frank Sheach, Engineering Manager at Xplore Dundee.)

Dundee and Angus College launched its heavy electric vehicle training programme for businesses at the beginning of 2023 by announcing a partnership with McGill’s Bus Services, Scotland’s largest independent bus company, whose technicians were the first to undergo the training.

McGill’s Group had already begun transitioning from fossil-fuelled to electric, battery powered buses, having launched its first fully electric route in September 2021. The vocational training provided by D&As College gives McGill’s technicians the skills to safely maintain and repair their electric bus fleet.

What next?

Explore our EV training courses here.

If you’d like to discuss your garage or business EV training requirements, get in touch with our Business Partnerships Team today and they can provide you with more information.

Did you know that our Business Partnerships Team offers a free training needs analysis? They can help you identify skills gaps in your business and provide you with training or even a bespoke training programme tailored to your business – they will also advise you of any funding available for training your workforce too.