Fleet operators are key to driving electric vehicle adoption if the Government’s target of all new car sales being zero emission by 2040 is to be met.
The electrification of large vehicle fleets will create a significant early impact on reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and these fleet operators are largely expected to set the standard for the electric revolution.
However, there is still resistance amongst some fleet operators to make the switch and here, Colin Gleghorn, Managing Director of Autotech Training discusses the challenges fleet operators face and how mass electric vehicle adoption can be effectively implemented by everyone within a business.
Why are some fleet operators still hesitant about adopting electric vehicles?
Many maintain that petrol and diesel vehicles provide more range and are cheaper to run, and the charging infrastructure is still not where it needs to be. This is, by and large, down to a lack of understanding about electric vehicles and by not delivering even essential training could render fleet electrification a ‘tick the box’ exercise for many fleet organisations.
Is it just technicians servicing electric vehicles who need EV training?
Absolutely not. Everyone within a business who comes into contact with an electric vehicle should receive some level of training. The high voltage nature of electric vehicles introduces new hazards; therefore, EV awareness training should be planned for all members of staff to enable them to safely work alongside these vehicles. In accordance with the Electricity at Work regulations, enforced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) all employers have a responsibility to ensure that employees are adequately trained – otherwise they may find themselves liable.
What training is available?
There are four levels of training available through the IMI, starting at Level 1 which offers awareness training. Level 2 is designed to give learners the knowledge and skills required to work safely on electric/hybrid vehicles whilst carrying out routine maintenance and repairs, while Level 3 delves into more diagnostic work. At Level 4, delegates who have completed all the previous stages can learn how to work on live high voltage electrical components and systems safely.
How do I know what level of training to book for my employees?
A good EV training specialist will seek to understand the needs of the fleet company and offer guidance on which level of training employees should receive. Essentially, any employee, who will not be carrying out repair work on the vehicle should take the IMI Level 1 Electric/Hybrid vehicle training course. While providing an overview of the technology and the essential functions of the vehicle, this course will also help alleviate any anxieties people may have about EV’s. For instance, many have concerns about the range and Level 1 will teach the delegate about the regenerative braking to help top up the battery and how roadside recovery will change (you can’t tow an electric vehicle!)
What sort of repair work will fleet workshop employees expect to undertake?
In the short term, with many electric vehicles still under manufacturer warranty, workshops may not see a large volume of work, but having the skill set to carry out even the most basic of repairs, including the maintenance of brakes, tyres and wipers, will be essential. Consequently, most fleet workshop technicians should receive IMI Level 2 or Level 3 Electric/Hybrid vehicle training. This will enable them to safely isolate the high voltage system from the rest of the vehicle, carry out any maintenance safely, and correctly re-instating it. These courses will also cover off the right tool which are needed to carry out EV repair work – such as insulated rubber gloves and plastic tools.
Will the training need to be adapted to suit the specific vehicle?
There are certain OEM components on a vehicle which will be factored into the training, but a good training provider will quantify the business needs from the outset and tailor the delivery of the training to suit.
Autotech Training offers IMI Level 1 – Level 4 IMI electric/hybrid vehicle courses either from its dedicated EV training suite within its Milton Keynes headquarters, or on the premises of any garage or organisation. Level 2 and 3 Heavy Vehicle EV Systems Repair and Replacement courses can also be delivered on the site of any company and all training can be delivered flexibly, including over weekends and around shifts, to meet the needs of the company.
For further information visit www.autotechtraining.co.uk
The above article was featured in the Issue 4 of Essential Fleet Manager – click here to read