New Class to be offered here at the school specifically for electric vehicles.
By Ian Kerr
With electric cars on the way into mainstream use, automotive schools are gearing up to support this new way of transportation. While much less complicated in a lot of ways compared to combustion engine cars, there are some areas where they are much more complex. This is evident in the electrical aspect of the car.
Typical cars that run on a DC (direct current) 12 volt system are far simpler than hybrid, plug in, or battery electric vehicles that use AC (alternating current). I sat down with Ruth Morrison, chair of the Automotive Technology Program here at Southern Maine Community College about this new frontier in the automotive field. She shared with me that Siemens approached them in 2019 and asked about future possibilities teaching a class with an ASE certificate in electric cars. Ruth also told me that while electric cars are less complicated, there are things you have to watch out for. Specifically, the health of the battery, and cooling system of the motor and battery. As well as normal car components like air conditioning systems and brakes. Recently WGME stated in a December 12th article that the school Is launching the first program in the state that trains auto repair workers to fix, diagnose and repair problems on hybrid and fully electric vehicle. The first class, offered this month is completely full. Ruth stated that the need for mechanics to deal with electric cars is going to become an “international crisis”.
With the Biden administration keeping their foot on the gas with infrastructure development around electric charging stations, Ruth is right about the need for trained mechanics. Biden’s trillion dollar infrastructure law allocates $5 billion dollars for states to build a network of charging stations.