Automakers work with dealerships to train EV tech on how to stay safe

Ford is another mainstream brand active with EV certification. Like other dealerships, Ford franchisees must be EV-certified before they can sell and service EV models.

“The training is specific to the battery and the high-voltage components of the battery, and that’s why we need that certification,” said Elizabeth Taquinto, manager of technical support operations at Ford.

“If they’re going to be able to do any work on batteries, they should take this class. It’s mainly from a safety standpoint,” she said.

The program includes a mix of web-based and classroom lessons at one of 40 Ford training centers across the country.

“We want them to have practical experience with batteries,” Tarquinto said. “We’re also using some augmented reality technology to do some of this training. From there, technicians can move on to advanced electronics and high-voltage training.”

Ford maintains 10 technical support operations managers across the US to support field service engineers and its training division.

As the rollout of EVs has not been as fluid as expected due to supply chain issues to almost all manufacturers, servicing has taken a slow approach.

“We will adjust this to our volume, but right now, we need at least one certified technician per dealership that sells our EVs,” Tarquinto said. “Of course, if you’re servicing hundreds of electric vehicles, you’ll need more than one technician.”

Hyundai service tech Hernandez said there will be more and more EVs on the roads in the coming months and years, and some of those vehicles will come in their service bay.

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“Working on these vehicles will require more experience because of the electricity involved,” he said. “I never thought that to be an automotive tech, I would need to train like a power company lineman.”