Ford is another mainstream brand being proactive with EV certification. As with other dealerships, Ford franchisees must be EV-certified before selling and servicing EV models.
“The training is specific to the battery and the high-voltage components of the battery, and that’s why we are requiring that certification, said Elizabeth Tarquinto, manager of technical support operations at Ford.
“If they are going to be able to do any work on the battery itself, they must take this class. It’s from a safety perspective, mainly,” she said.
The program involves a mixture of web-based and classroom lessons at one of 40 Ford training centers across the country.
“We want them to have hands-on experience with the battery,” Tarquinto said. “We are even utilizing some augmented reality technology to do some of this training. From there, technicians can move to advanced electronics and high-voltage training.”
Ford maintains 10 technical support operation managers across the U.S. to support field service engineers and its training department.
As the rollout of EVs hasn’t been as fluid as hoped because of supply chain issues plaguing nearly all manufacturers, servicing has taken a slower approach.
“We will adjust it to our volume, but right now, we are requiring at least one certified technician per dealership that sells our EVs,” Tarquinto said. “Of course, if you are servicing hundreds of electrical vehicles, you will need more than one technician.”
Hernandez, the Hyundai service tech, said there will be more and more EVs on the streets in the coming months and years, and some of those vehicles will come to his service bay.
“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.”