A North Wales college will begin training a new generation of mechanics focused on electric and hybrid vehicles.
From September, Coleg Cambria’s Bersham Road campus in Wrexham will teach students to service and repair the ever-increasing fleet of electric vehicles. Students can sign up for an IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Repair Level 3 qualification.
Just 5% of mechanics in the UK are qualified to work on electric cars, according to the RAC, leaving the industry struggling to meet the 2030 deadline to transition from petrol and diesel to fossil-free, zero-emission travel.
Carl Roberts, Director of Engineering at Coleg Cambria’s Bersham Road campus, said: “The move from petrol and diesel to electric and hybrid is the biggest change facing the automotive sector for 40-50 years, so dealerships and garages across the country will have to be ready.
“The IMI is pushing for all technicians to be trained to work on hybrid and electric, so from a diagnostic and safety point of view it is crucial they move quickly.”
The college invested in the switch to electric and hybrid pre-Covid but was unable to train staff and unveil the centre because of the pandemic.
They already have a hybrid vehicle on-site and are in discussions with manufacturers to forge new partnerships and install further cutting-edge machinery, as well as sourcing an electric car.
The college has a rig on which learners can work on the engine without any risks, and simulate issues and solutions that would happen in real-time, real-life scenarios.
Automotive Trainer Alex Woodward, who will teach the hybrid/electrical vehicle repair course at Coleg Cambria, said: “I’ve been working with cars and vehicles of all kinds since the 1970s and this is the biggest shift I’ve ever seen; we are no longer mechanics and things are going to be different as the world moves towards zero emissions.
“People in the trade will need to be prepared because, like with a petrol or diesel car, when the warranty runs out motorists will be looking to take their vehicle to an independent garage. At present they’re not in a position to do the work.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.