The electric car market is growing quickly, with nearly 300,000 pure electric, battery-operated vehicles (BEV) cars on UK roads at the end of May 2021, and more than 600,000 plug-in models, if including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).
More vehicles, both BEV and PHEVs, are out of warranty and reaching an age where owners want to have service and repairs carried out by independent garages. However, without the correct training, workshop employees are not allowed to touch an electric or hybrid vehicle by hand; a rule which even applies to simple maintenance work on conventional vehicle systems. In line with this, ZF Aftermarket has been working in conjunction with concerned industry parties including the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) to lobby for increased communication of relevant training.
Make a date – the HVE way…
The High-voltage training, offered under the ZF [pro]Tech garage workshop concept, consists of coordinated e-learning and practical hands-on training for optimal learning success. To meet soaring demand for its HVE courses, the business is preparing to up the ante for 2022, promising to add further course dates to satisfy demand.
Training courses available:
Electrically Instructed Persons
For those who have been used to 12, 24 or 48V automotive electrical systems, a change in mindset and a higher level of awareness is needed to work safely with high voltage electric vehicles. For example, where electrical cables in a conventional vehicle are routinely removed and reinstalled multiple times and connections often tightened by feel, high voltage cables are only rated for a certain number of connection cycles and terminations must be accurately tightened to the specified torque. This is because any abrasion of the contact areas or incorrect tensioning can have a dramatic effect on their electrical resistance, possibly leading to localised heating and subsequent fire risk.
Blending theory and practical instruction, this IMI level 2 approved course imparts sufficient knowledge to take a delegate to the ‘Electrically Instructed Person’ (EIP) level of competence. Attendees learn fundamental safety procedures such as following vehicle manufacturers’ protocols for powering down a vehicle, and applying the correct techniques to ensure electrical isolation so that the vehicle cannot restart unintentionally. Each EIP course is one (admittedly long) day in duration and ideally has only eight delegates attending, allowing each person sufficient time to complete the practical exercises included.
High Voltage Experts
This is probably the most comprehensive level of electric vehicle systems training available in the UK, and is the same as that provided to ZF research and development staff and to certain vehicle manufacturers’ engineering teams and production line technicians.
While someone who achieves EIP status is well on the way to working safely with electric vehicles, they are not yet qualified to work on the high voltage parts of the system. To date, around a third of Electrically Instructed Persons have returned to tackle the advanced stage of ZF Aftermarket’s training offer: the ‘High Voltage Expert’ (HVE) level of competence, which also earns successful attendees the IMI level 3 qualification. Before gaining access to HVE training, applicants must pre-qualify by successfully completing six online e-learning modules during the six weeks prior to training.
The course is split across two weeks; three days per week plus an examination day. Week one covers the fundamental principles of electrical engineering. This takes candidates through Ohm’s law, power consumption and calculations on both series and parallel circuits using a combination of theoretical principles and practical examples. Week two puts this theory into practice, applying it to real world
Electrically Instructed Persons (EIP) (1 day, IMI Level 2)
• 3rd March 2022
• 24th May 2022
• 30th June /2022
HVE (7-day IMI Level 3)
• 15th to 25th Feb 2022
• 3rd to 13th May 2022
Please get in touch ASAP to book, as places on these courses are determined by current Covid guidelines. Your name will be automatically added to a waiting list if no places are available and you will be informed of further dates in due course.