Tuesday, 02 March 2021 09:44

Electric Vehicle Repair: No Room for Error

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...have serious consequences.


According to Dirk Fuchs, recently-appointed director of program services for I-CAR, it is one thing for a dealership technician to work on an electric vehicle all in one piece where proper procedures can be followed and all on-board appliances and switches are accessible and working.


It is quite another thing to work on a piece of twisted metal where switches may not be accessible, or may not work, or loose or ripped “hot” wires are exposed.


During the most recent CIC virtual meeting, Fuchs, who has a degree in electrical engineering and has spent considerable time in Europe, explained the European model for training and educating technicians for working on electric vehicles. Autobody News followed up with an additional interview.


To start, there are several social and cultural differences between Europe and the U.S. which foster the dramatic differences in training, how it is delivered and how it is viewed.


Typically, Fuchs explained, the European training model is not really training as such, but more an education. In Europe, they learn more about why the problem manifested and why the vehicle must be repaired in a certain way.


In the U.S., training is solution-based---diagnose a problem and fix it as quickly as possible. In a production shop, time is money.


Another cultural difference is how training/education for a technician is viewed.


In Europe, shop owners don’t think twice about sending a technician off for 12 days of training at some remote location. The cost and production schedule...

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