Schools Training

You Want to Become a Mechanic for Electric Cars? Some Trivia to Inspire

10 MAY 2012
Career Path : Automotive

You are pursuing auto mechanic training with a niche in mind: you want to specialize in servicing the new breed of mass-market electric cars. Whether you work in a dealership or at your own garage, it will be in your best interest to learn as much as possible about the culture of electric cars. Your customers will see you as an expert on this rapidly changing sector. They may come to you for advice, for instance, on buying their next car. These kind of informal conversations about electric cars will help strengthen your relationship with your customer base, greatly increasing your marketability and employability after you become a mechanic. But what kind of information can you share with your customers? Here are some ideas of the kind of information – that may come up in your classes – that can be shared with future customers.

Electric cars aren’t new

As you will no doubt learn during the course of your auto mechanic training, electricity has been used to power cars for over a century.

Students at auto training schools around the world reacted in awe to news last spring that Porsche had built a replica of the world’s first hybrid car, the Porsche Semper Vivus, which had been designed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1900. (Imagine, there wasn’t any auto mechanic training back then!)

It took graduates of auto training schools employed by Porsche several years to reconstruct this beauty, which used two conventionally powered combustion engines to generate electricity for its batteries.

Plug-in time will vary depending on the voltage level of the charger

Customers often consult mechanics on their next choice of car. As a graduate of auto mechanic training with a specialization in electric systems, you will need to familiarize yourself with the different charging times needed by different cars, depending on the voltage of the charger. An electrified Ford Focus, for example, can be charged in as little as three hours on a 240-volt Level 2 charger, but the process can extend to as long as 20 hours when using a much less powerful 120-volt charger. As you become a mechanic, you should read industry magazines and attend industry events to keep up with this type of crucial knowledge.

The price range for electric cars is…

Auto mechanic training won’t teach you how to sell cars, but it is in your best interest to keep up with the changes in the market. Currently, fans of electric cars can spend as much as $845,000 on a top-of-the line model, e.g., the Porsche 918 Spyder, or as comparatively little as $21,000, e.g., the Mitsubishi I MiEV. Mid-range price might be considered around $30,000 (Nissan Leaf). Some people prefer to electrify existing vehicles rather than to buy new.

Most of this information will probably come your way quite naturally as you become a mechanic specializing in the maintenance and repair of electric vehicles. But it can pay to keep your eyes and ears open to electric car information as you pursue your auto mechanic training. The more you know about your chosen field, the more your future customers will view you as a trusted resource.