Embrace the Future – Master the art of Electric Vehicles
by Craig Scragg, RMI Academy of Automotive Skills Technical Services Manager
As the automotive industry continues to transition towards a more sustainable future, the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is skyrocketing. With their eco-friendly nature and technological advancements, it's no wonder that EVs are gaining traction worldwide. However, along with this rise comes the need for specialised knowledge in repairing and maintaining these innovative vehicles.
In this blog post, Craig Scragg, RMI Academy of Automotive Skills Technical Services Manager delves into the intricacies of EV repair and maintenance, shedding light on the skills and expertise required in this growing field.
"As the automotive industry evolves, technicians must stay updated on key issues and areas related to electric and hybrid-electric vehicles (EV/HEVs)s. With increasing consumer awareness and demand for EV/HEV repairs, garages across the UK are experiencing a surge in cases. Unfortunately, some are not equipped with the necessary component or safety knowledge, resulting in turning away potential work. Workshops need to stay ahead of the game and ensure their technicians are ready to serve the growing EV/HEV market." Craig explains.
1. Understanding EV Components:
Repairing and maintaining electric vehicles requires a solid understanding of their unique components. “Unlike conventional combustion-engine vehicles, EVs rely on complex systems such as batteries, electric motors, power inverters, and charging systems.” Craig clarifies.
Special attention must be given to diagnosing and troubleshooting related to these components. Mechanics and technicians must stay updated with the latest EV technology advancements and receive training to effectively handle EV’s.
2. Safety First: Dealing with High Voltage Systems:
One of the key considerations in electric vehicle maintenance is the presence of high-voltage systems. Technicians need training to gain the knowledge to ensure they can safely handle these high-voltage systems during repairs and maintenance procedures. Safety protocols, such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and following the correct de-energisation procedures, are crucial to prevent accidents or electrical hazards.
3. Diagnostic Tools and Software:
The diagnostic process for EVs differs significantly from traditional vehicles, but is essential for safe diagnosis of system faults and monitoring of live data. With the integration of advanced onboard computers, specialised diagnostic tools and software are essential to identify and rectify faults accurately.
From identifying battery health to diagnosing motor issues, these tools provide valuable insights for efficient repairs. Technicians with expertise in using these diagnostic tools can troubleshoot and mitigate issues swiftly, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Craig expands, “Some diagnostic manufacturers also provide garages with diagnostic repair guidance, like Opus IVS for example, who provide garages with step-by-step guidance on EV repairs. Opus’ IVS 360TM who deliver the service recognise the risks associated with repairing and maintaining electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and so only provides technical support on these vehicles to technicians who have completed the appropriate training. With the industry leaders grouping together to rally on-behalf of safe working practices, it’s obviously important that technicians get ahead and undergo training.”
4. Battery Maintenance and Efficiency:
The battery is the heart of an electric vehicle, making battery maintenance a critical aspect of EV ownership, and in turn for a technician carrying out maintenance and repairs.
Technicians must possess the knowledge and skills to inspect battery health, check for thermal management system functionality, and identify any signs of degradation. Proper battery maintenance practices, including charging habits and temperature management, are crucial to optimise the battery's lifespan and maintain its efficiency.
“Technicians need to understand the principles of high voltage battery construction, management and monitoring systems as part of their knowledge competence.” Facts Craig.
5. Staying Ahead with Training and Certification:
As the EV landscape continues to evolve, it's vital for automotive professionals to keep up with changes. Ongoing training and certification programs specific to EV repair and maintenance equip technicians with the latest knowledge and skills required in the industry. By embracing continuous learning and staying up-to-date with EV advancements, Technicians can become trusted experts in the field.
“There are many areas that need to be covered to ensure a comprehensive understanding of these systems, such as those outlined below.” Explains Craig.
- The correct methods for isolating and reinstating high-voltage systems
- The correct measurement procedures and approved tools
- The layout and construction of hybrid and electric drive powertrain systems and the identification of key components
- The principles of high-voltage battery construction, management and monitoring systems
- The design, construction and operating principles of three-phase, brushless motor/generator systems
- The control systems required for efficient operation, and methods of electrical rectification and regulation
- The transmission system operating principles of current Toyota hybrids
- The diagnosis of system faults and monitoring of live data using suitable diagnostic equipment
Craig concludes “The rise of electric vehicles presents both challenges and opportunities in the automotive repair industry. Understanding the intricacies of EV maintenance and repair is the key to delivering exceptional service to EV owners. By investing in specialised training, acquiring the necessary diagnostic tools, and staying updated with the latest technological advancements, technicians can position themselves at the forefront of the EV revolution. Embrace the future, master the art of maintaining electric vehicles, and play a pivotal role in shaping the sustainable mobility landscape of tomorrow.”
Discover revolutionary EV workshop training
The RMI Academy of Automotive Skills offers a range of EV-related courses that deliver the knowledge and practical skills required for those technicians just venturing into the world of maintaining and repairing electric vehicles:
EV Practical Fault-finding Course, in association with HEVRA
Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Awareness and Safety
Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Routine Maintenance Level 2
Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3
Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3 E-Learning
Diagnosis, Testing & Repair of Electric/Hybrid Vehicles and Components Level 4
Want to discuss EV training with our experts?
Get in touch to find out how we can support your workshop with essential ADAS training.
Book a course or enquire by phone: 01788 538 399