Students graduate from pioneering e-vehicle course

Excited to receive their level 5 certificate in electric vehicle automotive engineering yesterday...
Excited to receive their level 5 certificate in electric vehicle automotive engineering yesterday are (from left) Rob Hickey, Alex Schofield, Lance Bell and Geoff Christie, pictured with automotive engineering senior lecturer Kevin O’Neill. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Charged with knowledge of a different kind, a group of Otago Polytechnic students have graduated from a pioneering new course.

Eleven students celebrated receiving their level 5 certificate in electric vehicle automotive engineering yesterday.

One of the first of its kind in the country, the one-year, part-time course involves learning how to diagnose and repair faults in electric and hybrid electric vehicles and machines.

The course provides an opportunity for automotive engineering technicians to specialise in electric vehicles.

Otago Polytechnic automotive engineering senior lecturer Kevin O’Neill said he was proud of the hard work from students in completing the course.

"They’re the first students to graduate in this course. They’ve been studying for about a year to now be allowed to work in and around electric vehicles.

"The course has been three years in the making — it’s a great moment for me personally and professionally."

Students would have the opportunity to return and assist in teaching future courses, he said.

The demand for electric vehicles and those skilled in working on them would continue to grow, he said.

"A lot of these students are already working in the industry. Every year there are more and more of these vehicles coming out.

"One of the big visions we had in establishing this course was to ensure consumers buying into the electric vehicle market know they can get repairs easily, so more people can buy them confident they can access repairs."

Twenty-five further students were on track to complete the course which was accepting new enrolments quarterly, he said.

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