The Automotive Technology Department at Gateway Community College has added a Hybrid Vehicle Familiarization course to its required curriculum. The three-credit hour course has become a standard course in the automotive curriculum. It is now a graduation requirement for all students pursuing a degree in Automotive Technology.

The course focuses on classroom work and theory for fifteen weeks and covers all of the currently available models of hybrid vehicles. It begins by teaching the past, present, and future of battery voltages and technologies. Students spend time learning about electric motor theory, the core science of hybrid vehicles. Safety features, basic operations, and the differences among the various hybrid systems are also taught throughout the duration of this course.

Another important aspect of the course is that it allows students to come together for a classroom experience. Prior to this opportunity, many of these students would have never had the opportunity to take a course together because of their respective focuses on brand technologies. The Hybrid Vehicle Familiarization course is currently taught by Instructor Anthony Rish III to sixty students in three sections.

“A major disadvantage is the lack of available hybrids to use to demonstrate the technology,” Rish said. “Without having access to all of the hybrids to demonstrate on, the course became mostly theory based.”

However, he stated that there has been a lot of interest and support in the class and program, and he is hopeful about the possibility of obtaining more hybrid vehicles to use for the class and Automotive Technology program.

More information on Gateway Community College can be found on its Web site,

Click here to view a copy of the Course Syllabus.

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