CILT Mobility & Supply Chain, EV Microcredential Course launched in association with TUS, Limerick

Minister of State at the Department of Transport,  Jack Chambers TD.,  officially launched the CILT Mobility & Supply Chain, EV Microcredential Course in Limerick on 13 July. The innovative and future proofed course, established and developed by Technical University South (TUS), Bus Eireann and CILT Mobility & Supply Chain Skillnet.

In his address, Brendan Keating, President CILT Ireland, welcomed the Minister and thanked him for performing the official launch, stated: “The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Ireland through the Mobility and Supply Chain Skillnet programme is delighted to support this educational initiative because of the contribution it will make to the achievement of a sustainable transport system for the Country. I want to express a special thanks to the people involved in in this innovative education program. Of equal significance is the opportunity it provides for highly skilled mechanics and engineers to transfer their skills to electric vehicles. CILT Ireland’s members expect us as the Professional Body for the Transport, Logistics and Supply Chain sector to continually play a leading role in introducing initiatives such as this thereby supporting and helping the sector address, at an acerated pace, the challenge of decarbonisation and climate change.”

Minister Chambers complimented those involved with the new programme: “I would like to congratulate CILT Mobility and Supply Chain Skillnet and TUS for working together to create this important course, which will help to fill a growing need for expertise in the maintenance of heavy commercial electric vehicles. It is great to see such good co-operation between all stakeholders. I would also like to congratulate TUS on the construction of its new €24 million Coonagh Engineering Campus, which is due to open next January.

Today is another important step in our response to the challenge of climate change and the targets we have set for ourselves at a national level.

In recent times however, major European and global vehicle manufacturers have made public commitments regarding their intention to increase the availability and supply of e-trucks to the market over the next two to three years, and a revised EU regulation on CO₂ emissions for new heavy-duty vehicles, which includes both trucks and buses, is currently being negotiated in Brussels. This will set legal requirements for vehicle manufacturers to deliver on these commitments and increase the availability of zero emission vehicles to allow us to meet European climate goals.

While we are making progress with new vehicle technologies and charging infrastructure, the upskilling and reskilling of transport and logistics workers will also be crucial in helping us meet our climate goals and the Government is fully committed to increasing the skills and workforce required to meet our targets.

Courses such as the one being launched here are also vital to upskilling our existing workforce and allowing it to adapt to the new green economy. Our carbon reduction targets are only achievable if we deliver on every available pathway, strengthening and developing green skills is a huge part of that.

That is why the Electric Vehicle Fundamentals course being launched here by TUS and CILT Mobility and Supply Chain Skillnet is so important. It will play a crucial role in developing skills in the growing EV sector. Electric vehicles are outselling diesels for the first time in years.

So it is vital that our trained mechanics acquire new skills to repair EVs, and that our future mechanics to that skillset as a core part of their study.

This course forms a crucial part of this approach. And it sits alongside other developments, including the incorporation of EV skills into motor mechanic apprenticeship programmes.

I really believe that learning is not just something you do when you’re young, and the challenge of climate change is going to require all of us to learn new skills. Ireland already has the infrastructure to deliver an incredible variety of courses to people at any age range or stage in life. The urgency to address climate change has never been greater. We must not only equip the next generation with the tools they need to succeed, but we must also heed their voices and take action on their behalf.”

Tim Daly, Head of Training for Bus Eireann, who was involved in the initiation of the course, also spoke at the event, addended by Fleet Publications, explained the significance of the initiative: “Bus Éireann is fully committed to the decarbonization of our public transport fleet, we have a commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this year as published in our sustainability strategy. We operate the only hydrogen fuelled vehicles in the Republic with three hydrogen double deck vehicles in operation since July 2021, with the first all-electric town service launched in Athlone last January.

As Head of Training, my responsibility was to ensure the quality training of our Craftworkers/Mechanics and operational staff on alternative fuelled vehicles. I identified that in the absence of a generic training programme for these technicians when it came to heavy electric vehicles. This course is a significant step forward in the industry and will complement specific manufacturers training.

With Bus Eireann’s ambitious plans to move the current fleet to electric vehicles in a timely manner as possible, it became clear that it was critical to ensure the current engineering support was upskilled to work on electric vehicles. It is critical to have this training and skills in place ahead of such a change.

Having contacted James Kearney, Network Manager for CILT Mobility & Supply Chain Skillnet, we collaborated with TUS to develop this Microcredential Awarded Course.

From the perspective of transport operators, the benefits of completing this course, developed in conjunction with Technical University South is important for safety and compliance, professional operation, maintenance, and recovery, reducing the lifelong cost of vehicle ownership. All this is an important factor in the efforts being made to reduce emissions and practical measures towards greater sustainability.

I am confident that having Mechanics/ Craftworkers trained with this EV Microcredential will pave the way for a more sustainable future for road passenger/freight transport.”

James Kearney, Network Manager for CILT Mobility & Supply Chain Skillnet detailed aspects of the Course: “The module aims to provide the learner with a broad knowledge of Hybrid & Battery Electric Vehicle technologies, Hazard Awareness and Health & Safety Protocols in line with electrical standards. The learner will develop an understanding and implement the skills required to safely carry out diagnosis and repair of Hybrid & Battery Electric Vehicle systems.”

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;

  1. Identify the High Voltage Electrical Components and Technologies used in BEV, PHEV & HEV Powertrains and HV Charging Systems
  2. Describe the Health & Safety Considerations and Safe Work Practices pertaining to the repair and maintenance of BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs in line with electrical standards.
  3. Apply the knowledge and skills required to safely remove HV Components from BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs
  4. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to diagnose, test and repair BEV, PHEV and HEV, High Voltage electrical systems. Syllabus

“The practical elements of the module will be delivered over a 2-day intensive practical bootcamp. The assessment strategy of this module will be a combination of: Ongoing Theory Assessment – Delivered online 2 hours per week for 12 weeks and Ongoing Practical Assessment – Delivered in person in 2 full days in workshop over one weekend.”