Three National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) staff members recently attended the Eaton Certified Contractor Network for Electric Vehicles Certification Class.

NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron, Assistant Director of Training and Curriculum Development Micheal Smyth and National Instructor Mark Schmidt participated in the course, which was held June 8 at one of the company’s facilities in Asheville, N.C.

“The class was a beta presentation of Eaton’s training program that they put together to train electrical contractors on installing Level 1 and 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations,” Smyth explained. “That includes public, business and residential stations. This was the first class of many as Eaton creates a nationwide network of engineers and installers who can best serve the public.”

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Eaton Research and Development Engineer Jason Nitzberg, left, and Engineering Manager Paul Seff display a Level 1 charging station during the Eaton Certified Contractor Network for Electric Vehicles Certification Class June 8 in Asheville, N.C. Credit: NAFTC

The course included eight lessons, which covered the history of the industry; electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) technology; Eaton solutions; device communication; customer interaction; site evaluation and installation; maintenance and troubleshooting; and summary and review. The participants also had the opportunity to take a certification exam.

Smyth said Eaton’s EVSE charging levels include AC Level 1, 120 volts; AC Level 2, 240 volts; and DC Quick Charger, 400 volts.

“For example, if you were charging the Nissan LEAF, it would take 16 hours with the AC Level 1 charger, eight hours with the AC Level 2 charger and 15-20 minutes with the DC Quick Charger,” Smyth noted. “The most exciting thing we saw at the training was the DC Quick Charger. It bypasses the inverter and charges the battery directly.”

Eaton charging station

A Level 2 charging station at Eaton’s Asheville, N.C., facility is ready for use in the parking lot. Credit: NAFTC

In addition, one of the curricula being developed under the Advanced Electric Drive (AED) Vehicle Education Program – managed by the NAFTC and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy – is the Electrical Infrastructure curriculum, which provides the necessary information that consumers, installers and utility companies need to better handle installing the appropriate equipment for residential and fleet advanced electric drive vehicle customers. It also explains the electrical and building code requirements that apply to all installers and users of EVSE as well as the special needs of the different classes of electric vehicle users such as homeowners (including multifamily residences), fleet facilities and public access and commercial charging facilities.

“Eaton has been very supportive of us,” he added. “Eaton’s training course gave us a lot of additional information that we will be able to include in the AED Electrical Infrastructure curriculum. Our training materials will represent not only where the market is now but also where it will be in the immediate and next-to-immediate future. The market is moving so fast; we have to stay on top of the technological advances.”

Participants in the Eaton class also had the opportunity to tour the company’s manufacturing facility in Asheville.

Participants in the Eaton Certified Contractor Network for Electric Vehicles Certification Class tour the company’s manufacturing facility. Credit: NAFTC

“That’s where the charging stations and other products are made,” Smyth said. “We saw their research and development area where they test products. It was also nice to see Level 2 charging stations in Eaton’s parking lot. They practice what they preach.”

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