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A South Dakota technical college wants to train students to repair EVs and hybrids » Yale Climate Connections

The auto industry is undergoing a massive transition to electric vehicles. And training programs are wrestling with how best to prepare auto repair technicians to work in such a rapidly changing field.

Thor Green is an automotive technology instructor at Lake Area Technical College in South Dakota.

He says most cars in his state run on gas, so students still need to learn how to work on conventional vehicles. But he also wants to prepare them to handle EV batteries and to repair a wide range of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Green: “It is time to jump on this early … to get these young technicians trained.”

Teaching all those skills is too much to fit into the school’s standard two-year curriculum. So Green and other instructors developed a one-year EV training program as an optional add-on.

So far, it’s been a hard sell. Most graduates can still get jobs working on gas-powered cars.

Green: “After two years and they get their first degree, they want to be out in the field working.”

But he says some shop owners are starting to ask for technicians who can work on EVs. And he expects those skills will be critical to get a job in the future. So he’s glad the program is in place.

Green: “It is just the next evolution of where it’s going.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media

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