Electric car mechanics to be trained at Wrexham college

  • Published
Related Topics
Electric car chargingImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
A new generation of students are being trained to work on electric vehicles

A college will begin training a new generation of electric and hybrid car mechanics in what it described as a "revolution".

Coleg Cambria's Bersham Road campus in Wrexham will teach students to service and repair the ever-increasing fleet of greener vehicles from September.

According to the RAC, just 5% of the UK's 202,000 vehicle technicians are qualified to work on electric cars.

Course tutor Alex Woodward said the motor trade "will need to be prepared".

"Like with a petrol or diesel car, when the warranty runs out, motorists will be looking to take their vehicle to an independent garage," he added.

"At present they're not in a position to do the work."

There are 239,000 electric vehicles and about 900,000 hybrid vehicles on UK roads and the numbers will rise as the car industry moves towards zero emission travel by 2030 and sales of new petrol or diesel cars are banned.

Some hybrids will still be sold, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last year.

The Covid-delayed course at the college's automotive centre will offer an Institute of the Motor Industry hybrid/electric vehicle repair level three qualification.

Mr Woodward, an automotive trainer mentor, said the college was at the forefront of "a revolution".

Image caption,
Coleg Cambria's Alex Woodward, right, said the college was at the forefront of "a revolution"

He said safety was top priority when training technicians to work on electric cars due to the dangerous voltages involved, so the college has bought a simulator where students can learn to work on an engine without any risks.

Apprentice mechanic Sam Conway works at a garage in Llanferres, Flintshire, while studying diagnostics at Coleg Cambria and hopes to start the new course in September.

He said: "I'll be a fully-qualified mechanic by then so hopefully I can go on to do the electric and hybrid course. It's the way the future's going. We need to know this kind of stuff."

Fellow apprentice, Liam Jackson, who works at a garage in Chirk, Wrexham, said the course was a "good opportunity."

Prof Peter Wells, director of Cardiff University's centre for automotive industry research, said more electric car technicians would benefit consumers as there was currently a struggle to find mechanics outside of the dealer network.

Mr Woodward said the college hoped to initially train about six automotive students in electric and hybrid technology, but anticipated that would increase.