Queensland Electric Vehicle Training Launched — Toyota Updates Its Position

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TAFE Queensland officially launched its Queensland-first electric vehicle (EV) training program mid-November, with more than 100 automotive industry representatives attending an event held at TAFE Queensland Acacia Ridge to learn about the future of EV training.

Electric Vehicle Training
Madeline Chamberlin. Photo courtesy of TAFE Queensland.

TAFE Queensland is the first and only training organisation in the state to allow apprentices to choose four nationally recognised EV skill units as part of their apprenticeship training plan at no additional cost to their employer. The initiative is part of TAFE Queensland’s commitment to servicing the demands of industries it serves and providing the state with the tradespeople it needs for the future. It makes up part of TAFE Queensland’s “training lifecycle” plan for the future of the automotive industry. The lifecycle allows for training of past, current, and future apprentices in the essential skills needed to safely work on electric vehicles by offering units in training clusters to already qualified mechanics in addition to inclusion in all automotive apprenticeships as optional electives.

TAFE Queensland’s commitment to offering these elective units to apprentices in all corners of the state sets them apart and embodies their commitment to delivering what local industries need when they need it.

The launch event held recently included tours of the world-class facilities at TAFE Queensland’s flagship trade training facility at Acacia Ridge, Brisbane, and a panel Q&A session with representatives of each sector of the automotive industry. Attendees were treated to robust discussion regarding the current and future state of the local and global automotive industries and how TAFE Queensland will lead the charge for skilling Queensland’s workforce in EV mechanics.

Panel members on the day included:

  • David Jenkinson, Business Manager of Heavy Automotive Training at TAFE Queensland Acacia Ridge
  • Todd Hacking, CEO of Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia
  • David Cooper, Manager of Technical Operations (Northern Region), Toyota Australia
  • Wayne Schoenauer, Testing & Commissioning Engineer for Brisbane Metro Vehicles, HESS e-Mobility
  • Shawn O’Sullivan, Business Manager of Light Automotive Training at TAFE Queensland Acacia Ridge
HVIA’s Todd Hacking. Photo courtesy of TAFE Queensland.

HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking told attendees that the heavy vehicle industry is fully invested in the transition to low and zero-emissions heavy vehicles. “HVIA’s role is to remove obstacles to their uptake,” Mr Hacking said.

“HVIA members and training stakeholders are currently working to progress action on zero-emission vehicle skills and training priorities.” 

David Cooper, Toyota Australia Manager of Technical Operations (Northern Region), was a panel member and updated Toyota’s position on EVs:

“At Toyota we have a 21 year pedigree in Hybrid vehicles, selling over 250,000 within Australia, with more than more than half of those have sold in the last 2 years. We are now moving into PHEV and EV in our Lexus range and BEV in Toyota next year with Beyond Zero BZ4X in 2023,” said Mr Cooper.

Toyota’s David Cooper. Photo courtesy of TAFE Queensland.

“Servicing is evolving, there will be less changing of oil, and more checking that computers have the latest files. The tyres, brakes and suspension all need normal regular checks,” said Mr Cooper.

“For safety our technicians connect to external networks, or for security Technicians have to reprogram, authenticating with Toyota Japan servers. Which is sometimes easier for our younger Technicians. As our fleet of vehicles ages, it is fair to say more high voltage diagnosis and repairs will be required.

“We need to change the way the Automotive trade is seen, to be one that people with math and sciences are interested in wanting to aspire to, using Multi Meters competently before moving to EV diagnosis with Mega and Milli Ohm Meters.”

As Australians buy more and more EVs, they can be assured that trained and well qualified technicians will be on hand to assist should they need it. QTAFE will provide the electric vehicle training.

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David Waterworth

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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