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SIT Develops New Training for Electric Vehicles

Southern Institute of Technology’s latest offering in course development sees it maintain its place at the forefront of vocational tertiary education by making new technology training available, in the field of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Doug Rodgers, Head of Faculty – Trades and Technology, said he was pleased to announce the development of the new individual short course. Describing it as advanced training, it will be available to qualified automotive tradespeople, with a focus on the de-commissioning of electric engines for safe operation, repair and diagnostics.

“It will become part of the suite of advanced automotive training being offered at SIT... the move into the field of EVs is really based on need. This SIT-developed initiative has come out of seeing an increase in electric vehicles on the roads.”

“We ran a pilot at our Christchurch campus to meet some demand and it has been very successful; demand there has increased, so we’ve expanded training there and also into Invercargill,” said Mr Rodgers.

Service station owner Terry Walsh, recently completed the EV 2-day programme at the Christchurch campus and says it’s one of the best courses he’s ever been to. A qualified mechanic with over thirty years’ experience, Mr Walsh owns Mobil stations at Omarama and Twizel, and says he took part in the course because of the need to keep up to date with technological advancements in the automotive industry.

“It’s upskilling with new technology. It’s only going to keep evolving, and if we don’t upskill, we’ll get left behind.”

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“I’m also an Automotive Electrical apprentice and have done the (EV) theory in my apprenticeship – this course was very hands-on, it was brilliant, absolutely fantastic.”

“I liked the way they had two tutors teaching at the same time, they were both knowledgeable and experienced and they interacted well with each other – they made it very easy to understand.”

The programme helped demystify some things for him, saying, “I tested things I had never tested before... I’ll be making sure all my staff do the course.”

With the new paper development well underway, those interested will be able to enrol for the NZ Certificate in Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering (Level 5) for the start of 2022. Mr Rodgers expects the faculty will also add to the material and release more papers, progressively over time.

“We hope to grow it over the next few years, particularly in Invercargill and as EV numbers continue to increase. Currently there are nearly 30,000 EVs nationwide,” he said.

The Government announced its Electric Vehicles programme in 2016, and has continued to introduce measures to help support the increase in numbers of EVs on NZ roads, with a goal of reaching approximately 64,000 vehicles by the end of 2021.

“This sort of training in new technology is ideal for the direction we’re heading in, it’s moving with the times,” Mr Rodgers added.

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