Newly developed EV Maintenance Training Program at BCIT a game changer

WITH support from CleanBC, a new electric vehicle (EV) training program for automotive technicians has successfully completed its first pilot and will be available to the public in 2020.

“This training program is a game changer and part of where the world is going as we switch to zero-emission vehicles,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, on Wednesday. “B.C. has the fastest increase of EVs on the road, with 30,000 now. So we’re going to need mechanics, and B.C. is the first province to offer this kind of training. This is an example of the thousands of new jobs and opportunities we’ll see under our CleanBC plan to boost the economy, reduce air pollution and make life more affordable.”

The newly developed EV Maintenance Training Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will make sure the province’s workforce has the skills and training needed to support more electric vehicles on the road. Under government’s CleanBC plan, all new light-duty vehicles sold in B.C. by 2040 will be zero-emission vehicles.

With $325,000 in provincial funding through CleanBC, BCIT has completed the first of two rounds of the pilot program with the City of Vancouver’s green-fleet technicians. By working with the city, BCIT is able to develop and test an EV curriculum with 12 Red Seal mechanics. The partnership has helped the city on its path to become one of the greenest cities in the world and has continued BCIT’s ongoing leadership in sustainability and training.

Vancouver has one of the largest Canadian municipal EV fleets, with 120 EVs in service. Expanding the EV fleet is a key component of the city’s Climate Emergency Response, which has set a target of deriving 100% of energy used by the fleet from renewable sources before 2050.

“The City of Vancouver is committed to achieving carbon neutrality in its entire vehicle fleet by 2050,” said Cheryl Nelms, acting general manager, engineering services, City of Vancouver. “Having more city staff trained in the safety, maintenance and repair of electric vehicles is a priority both today and into the future as our electric vehicle fleet grows. We are proud to have partnered with BCIT on this important training course and to see our staff be among the first in the country to be certified in maintaining and repairing electric vehicles.”

BCIT’s EV Maintenance Training Program will be available as a part-time studies course in early 2020.

“The BCIT electric vehicle maintenance curriculum is another powerful example of how our institute is working directly with employers and government partners to deliver sustainability training where it’s needed most,” said Kathy Kinloch, president, BCIT. “This kind of flexible up-skilling will be critical in growing the green workforce B.C. and Canada needs to meet our sustainability targets.”

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.