The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) conducted another session of the Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician course at the NAFTC headquarters in Morgantown, WV from July 15 through July 19, 2013.

This week-long Train-the-Trainer course was developed specifically for high school instructors, who then incorporate the material into their classes. It is crucial that future automotive technicians be trained to service and maintain the growing number of electric drive vehicles; this course allows the NAFTC to reach those technicians at an early stage in their education.

At this week’s training, the high school instructors were trained on the fundamentals, system design, diagnostic considerations, and special service topics of hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles. The course covered appropriate safety measures in maintaining electric drive vehicles and described their electric propulsion systems. These systems include construction, operation, control strategies, service tools, scan tool data, and basic diagnostic fundamentals. The training contains manufacturer-specific information on various models of vehicles and incorporates a great deal of hands-on and workshop exercises to facilitate understanding and improve the learning process.

Participants spend a large portion of time in the course working on the NAFTC’s hybrid electric vehicle training educator, or HEVTE, and other electric vehicle testing units.

“Students today need to understand electronics and have a sense of critical thinking. Things that we used to have clear cut diagnostics on, there is a lot more critical thinking that goes in to diagnosing problems now, as this course explained,” said participant Jed Metzler, from South Branch Career and Technical Center. “The next generation of students need to understand scan tools and why things happen to these vehicles.”

August 2013 CTE

High school instructors create a diagram of a Prius high voltage battary during the Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician Train-the-Trainer course. Credit: NAFTC.

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