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Motor Vehicle student checking car sensors

York College motor vehicle students on the road to electric future

With the Government phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, are we ready to meet the demand for auto technicians who are up-to-speed on electrical vehicle technology?

We take a look at how York College is ensuring students are wired into the latest learning on this new green technology.

In just eight years the Government intends to end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars, bringing to a close an age of motoring that is all many of us have ever known. And while hybrid vehicles have a stay-of-execution until 3035 the future is undeniably Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Great news for the environment, but with a whole new greener cleaner technology set to sweep away dirty diesel and petrol engines, does the UK have the skill-base ready to maintain and repair EVs?

Awarding bodies are lobbying the Government to provide £15m in funds to support the training of much greater numbers of technicians to address a projected shortfall.

At York College, the age of the EV is something we’ve seen heading towards us for some time and thanks to investments in the latest technology within our Engineering workshops, we’re ensuring our students aren’t caught in the headlights of the new tech.

Lisa Wheeler, Head of Engineering & Digital Technologies at York College, said: “Right now in the UK, only about six per cent of motor vehicle technicians have the required level of qualification and skills to work on electric and hybrid vehicles. Obviously this is significantly concerning given the transition to electrical & hybrid vehicles over the next 10 years, and other technologies.

“It is essential that we support the current workforce to upskill, and also develop a new generation of talent, training our future workforce with electric and hybrid vehicle knowledge and skills, and that’s where York College can now make a significant difference.”

In 2020 the College’s commitment to training in the new technology saw us rewarded with a grant of £150,000 from the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. As well as the huge benefit to our students, the investment enables the region’s independent garages, who experience the most difficulties in meeting technological advancement needs, to access local training opportunities.

The funding allowed us to invest in two electric/hybrid/hydrogen Fuel Vehicle Training Rigs from Lucas Nüelle. This means our students and the industry can now be trained in the operation and repair of high-voltage EV systems.

Meanwhile our Motor Vehicle Tutors received training from Mark Forshaw of Fusion Education Consultancy Ltd which will benefit our staff and students working with the latest technologies on our new Hyundai Electric Vehicles

Lisa added: “The generous funding we received from York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership has allowed us to invest in the latest electrical vehicle technology, including two Hyundai electric and hybrid cars and electric vehicle training rigs. It means York College can fulfil its role in ensuring the region’s skill needs are met, in what is set to be a long period of change and evolution for the motor vehicle industry.”

For more information on the courses available across our Engineering & Digital Technologies curriculum, visit our study page.