More Greater Victoria automotive technicians will be able to gain skills for working on electric vehicles in the new year.
Two pilot sessions of an electric vehicle maintenance training program ran this fall at Camosun College’s Interurban campus after the province announced funding for the classes last spring. Two or three more sessions will run in 2022.
The Camosun courses, which can hold up to eight people each, teach technicians to safely work with the high-voltage vehicles’ batteries, run diagnostics, test motors and more.
The program offers technicians a chance to align their skills with the low-carbon economy and will help break down the perception that it’s challenging to get an EV serviced, said B.C.’s minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation at a Dec. 8 press conference.
“By developing our EV sector, we’re creating good jobs in a growing industry, that supports our CleanBC goals and our transition to a clean energy future,” said Bruce Ralston, noting its contribution to the province’s GDP almost doubled between 2015 and 2020 and continues to grow. “Supporting the growing demand for EVs in British Columbia is one of our top priorities.”
The college’s president said a workforce must be there to support the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road locally.
British Columbia is aiming for all light-duty vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. As of June 2021, those accounted for more than 10 per cent of new light-duty vehicle sales in the province. The Capital Regional District’s public charging stations will need to quadruple by 2030, according to its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Roadmap. During Wednesday’s presser, Ralston said the need for more stations is another concern for potential EV drivers. The province is working with governments at the municipal and federal levels to put more chargers in public places and create a convenient charging network across B.C.
“We are doing everything we can to accelerate the transition,” the minister said.