Maine automotive program starts EV tech training this year
Southern Maine Community College has launched the first electric vehicle program in Maine that trains vehicle repair technicians to diagnose and service electric and hybrid vehicles.
The class is designed for technicians who work at auto repair shops, auto dealers and other vehicle-related businesses. For the class, students take a hands-on weeklong course in SMCC’s Automotive Technology Center after first completing 32 hours of online instruction. The first class, which was full to capacity, began in December, per a SMCC new release December 9. Additional classes are scheduled in 2022 as the faculty eagerly develops the program. SMCC Automotive Technology Chair Ruth Morrison offered valuable insight into why such a course is necessary, echoing some points we've heard in the past regarding electric vehicle technicians (or lack thereof):
“The lack of trained technicians is about to become an international crisis,” said Morrison, who will teach a majority of the future classes. “There are a lot of electric and hybrid vehicles being produced, and we don’t have enough people who know how to work on them.”
The short-term training course is being offered through SMCC Workforce Training for companies and organizations that need employees trained in electric vehicle repair. The course teaches students to perform hands-on work and prepares them to take the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist Certification Test.
Among the students in the first electric vehicle repair class are automotive master technicians from VIP Tires & Service, an automotive service provider and tire dealer based in Auburn with 65 locations in New England. With electric vehicle sales growing fast in Maine, the U.S. and globally, VIP needs certified workers for electric vehicles, said Tim Winkeler, VIP’s President and CEO.
“Electric vehicles are clearly the wave of the future, and until now there haven’t been any training options available in Maine,” Winkeler said. “Having our automotive technicians trained and certified will allow VIP the ability to offer local electric vehicle repair to Maine residents.”
SMCC Automotive Technology Chair Ruth Morrison with a hybrid electric Lexus—SMCC photo
SMCC Workforce Training offers short-term training opportunities in a number of fields ranging from computers, welding and construction to hospitality, medical assisting and manufacturing. On-campus housing may also be available for those attending these programs, making training for those from across the state more accessible.