Recently the automotive engineering tutors and representatives from industry attended a 3-day electric vehicle (EV) block course delivered by Kevin O’Neil, a Senior Lecturer at Otago Polytechnic.
Kevin has a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE) in high voltage electrical and started working on EVs about ten years ago.
“It will be a while before diesel and petrol vehicles are phased out, but with new models coming on to the market and government subsidies, EVs are becoming more affordable and more popular,” he says.
“I’ve been working closely with the automotive industry and for those who are planning on becoming a mechanic, it’s more important than ever to know about the complex workings of EVs.”
Kevin has been delivering training around the country upskilling tutors so they are ready to train a new generation of electric vehicle technicians.
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is part of an automotive consortium operating across New Zealand which shares knowledge and resources.
NMIT automotive tutor, Barry Paterson says although much of the content wasn’t new to them, the course was a good refresher.
“There’s some tricky bits in it but it builds on the automotive technology knowledge we already have and sets us up well for training students about EVs,” he says.
Barry says there has been a spike in interest from qualified automotive technicians in learning about electric and hybrid vehicles.
All automotive students will be exposed to EV technology in future programmes(external link).
To support the training NMIT has purchased a new Nissan Leaf, a new Hino hybrid truck and three Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles.
“We just need another Nissan Leaf we can wreck to get some components out,” says Barry.