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Getting to grips with complexity of EV vehicles

November 24, 2021

UNDER THE HOOD: EIT assistant head of school, trades and technology Tim Jagusch and EIT Tairawhiti lecturer Steve Main. Picture by Liam Clayton

The Eastern Institute of Technology has become the second tertiary provider after Otago to offer the New Zealand Certificate in Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering.

The programme, delivered from EIT Tairawhiti for all of the North Island, targets diagnosis and repairs of electric and hybrid vehicles, with an emphasis on health and safety.

EIT assistant head of school, trades and technology Tim Jagusch says whether we agree with the technology or not, it’s here and with the government initiatives it’s only going to intensify.

“The modern electric vehicle is complex and it continues to lead the way in new and emerging technology.

“This is fine, we can cope with this, but the nervousness for me and reinforced by the industry is the high voltage systems where we see an excess of 800 volts. This is over and above what a domestic electrician will confront, yet the motor industry is still a non-regulated industry”.

Mr Jagusch says with the increase in health and safety protocols in New Zealand the industry should at least have one person employed in their workplace who either holds or is working towards this new qualification — “just to cover the health and safety of their employees”.

“ We are seeing enrolments from around the North Island for this reason.”

EIT Tairawhiti lecturer Steve Main says although the programme is targeted to support the motor industry, he believes it could also benefit those who have an electrical or electronics background, even university graduates who are contemplating a career in electric vehicle technology or similar.

The course runs for a year as a part-time programme with multiple enrolment points. Delivery includes one online lecture every week and three block courses to cover the practical aspects of the programme.

“The block courses are where the students get to practically explore the theory knowledge gained,” Mr Main said.

“This includes fault finding, testing, dismantling and reassembling the electric drive train, inverter, auxiliary systems and batteries of both EV and hybrid vehicles in a safe manner.”

The programme’s theory component comes with a high level of learnings in electrical and electronics.

“The content is comprehensive — we will be covering four main topics: battery systems, drive systems, high voltage auxiliary systems and automotive business management, all leading to the achievement of the New Zealand qualification.”

Mr Jagusch says the organisation is happy to see this programme roll out after intense research, consultation, staff development qualifications and development of resources.

“But most of all to have another programme that aligns to industry needs.”

Anyone wanting more information or to enrol in the New Zealand Certificate in Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering programme, go to EIT’s website or call into the office on Palmerston Road.

Enrolments are open now, programmes dates are:

E.V auxiliary systems begins week 24-28 January
E.V battery systems  begins week 2-6 May
E.V drive systems begins week 25-29 July
Automotive management begins 17-21 October

Limited places available – Enrol now.