Tech Question of the Week: EV Training Opportunities for Mechanics and Charging Equipment Installers

Information provided by Technical Response Team (February 2023), a resource Provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Can you provide information on existing curriculum and training programs for electric vehicle (EV) mechanics and EV charging equipment installers?

With new investments in deploying EV charging stations nationwide, it’s important that the EV workforce is prepared to safely work on EVs and install EV charging equipment. Below are example training programs for EV mechanics and EV charging equipment installers. Note that we don’t endorse these trainings over others.

Examples of Existing Certifications Programs for EV Maintenance

  • Weber State University EV Training: Prepare for the high-voltage vehicles of yesterday, today and the future with Weber State University’s Automotive Services training program. This three-phase program is the only one of its kind in the region. While you will benefit from basic electrical theory training before taking Phase 1 of this three-phase course, no prerequisites are required! Start down the path to earning your ASE L3 Light Duty Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Certification through our sequence of courses.
  • National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC): NAFTC’s EV Automotive Technician Training covers powertrains for different types of EVs. It explains motor-generator operation, testing, and diagnostic equipment. It details EV direct current and alternating current converters in the various high and low voltage electrical systems in EVs.
  • AFV Educate: AFV Educate is a global technology and training organization specialized in alternative fuel vehicle training for first responders, second responders, and automotive technicians and offer a course specific to EV and hybrid electric vehicles. Notably, AFV Educate launched a program to support the needs of the Clean Cities network. They are looking to support Clean Cities with applying for funding opportunities and can provide requested materials and offer a cost-share percentage. For more information about how AFV Educate can support Clean Cities coalitions, including a testimonial from Ann Vail, Louisiana Clean Fuels, see their Clean Cities flyer here.
  • Cerritos College: Jannet Malig, Long Beach Clean Cities, supports workforce training program through her host organization, Cerritos College. You can see automotive training courses on this page, including their EV training courses. As you may know, Margo Sidener, Silicon Valley Clean Cities, Colin Messer, Land of Enchantment Clean Cities, and Jannet shared their Coalition Project Highlights related to Workforce Training at the past Clean Cities Training Workshop. This presentation may be a useful resource for those looking to develop workforce development opportunities in their communities and you may consider connecting with these directors more insight. Clean Cities coalitions should check their local community colleges for relevant technician training courses or programs.

 EV Charging Station Installation Training Programs

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released the final minimum standards and requirements for federally funded EV infrastructure projects, including projected funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. Section 680.106(j) starting on PDF page 132 of the Final Rule states:

“All electricians installing, operating, or maintaining [electric vehicle supply equipment] must meet one of the following requirements:

(i) Certification from the [Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP)].

(ii) Graduation or a continuing education certificate from a registered apprenticeship program for electricians that includes charger-specific training and is developed as a part of a national guideline standard approved by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Department of Transportation.”

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program: EVITP is a non-profit partnership of EV stakeholders, including automakers, utilities, EV charging station manufacturers, energy storage device manufacturers, electrical inspectors, electrical contractors, electrical workers, and first responders The training includes site assessment, load calculations, National Electric Code, job-site safety, personal protection equipment, and other installation and maintenance best practices. Training is available online for all states and provides up-skilling for state licensed or certified electricians, in states that do not license or certify electricians, the participant must provide documentation of a minimum of 8,000 hours of hands-on electrical construction experience.

FHWA recommends states familiarize themselves with federal funding options that are available for workforce development and training related to EV infrastructure. DOT’s Highway Funding for Workforce Development Fact Sheet provides information on workforce development projects that are eligible for funding and example projects. Further, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Labor worked together to produce a Frequently Asked Questions document regarding how state transportation agencies can support workforce development projects, including the NEVI Formula Program. Per FHWA’s NEVI Formula Program Guidance, states were required to include labor and workforce considerations in their final EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan). As such, states may be developing EV charging installation programs as they begin implementing their plans. We recommend reviewing your state’s Plan and official NEVI Formula Program planning website on the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation State Plan website.

Lastly, some EV charging providers have a preferred-contractor network and/or offer specific training courses to work on their EV chargers. Again, note that we don’t endorse these trainings over others, but some examples are:

  • ChargePoint
    • Offers an online training program for those interested in becoming a ChargePoint certified installer
  • EV Connect
    • Provides a step-by-step instructional guide and video tutorials.

New Federal Grants and Funding Opportunities Announced!

Newly Announced Funding Opportunities. More details below!

  • CHARGING AND FUELING INFRASTRUCTURE DISCRETIONARY GRANT PROGRAM
    • Agency: USDOT
    • Purpose: strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure in the places people live and work – urban and rural areas alike – in addition to along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs). Projects funded under the Community Program will be prioritized within: Rural areas; Low-and moderate-income neighborhoods; Communities with low ratios of private parking spaces; Communities with high ratios of multi unit dwellings
    • Available Funding: $700M for FY 2023; $2.5B over 5 years
    • Award ID: TBD
    • Close Dates: TBD
    • Eligible Entities: States or political subdivision of States; Metropolitan planning organizations; Unit of local governments; Special purpose districts or public authorities with a transportation function, including port authorities; Indian tribes; U.S. Territories; Authorities, agencies, or instrumentalities or entities owned by, one or more entities listed above; State or local authorities with ownership of publicly accessible transportation facilities (applies to Community Program only)

 

  • JOINT OFFICE OF ENERGY AND TRANSPORTATION: RIDE AND DRIVE ELECTRIC
    • Agency: DOE/EERE Joint Office of Energy and Transportation
    • Purpose: Aims to advance the mission and vision of the Joint Office by addressing discrete challenges to a convenient, affordable, reliable, and equitable electric vehicle (EV) charging network by enhancing institutional capacity, encouraging holistic approaches, fostering inclusive and equitable outcomes, and ensuring a world-class customer experience.
    • Available Funding: TBD
    • Award ID: DE-FOA-0002880
    • Close Dates: TBD
    • Eligible Entities: TBD

 

  • VEHICLE TECHNOLOGIES OFFICE: PROGRAM WIDE FUNDING
    • Agency: DOE/EERE Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO)
    • Purpose: This FOA will advance research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) in several areas critical to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, including: reduction of weight and cost of batteries, reduction in life cycle emissions of advanced lightweight materials, reduced costs and advanced technologies for both on- and off-road vehicle charging and infrastructure, innovative public transit solutions, and training to increase deployment of these technologies among diverse communities. 
    • Available Funding: TBD
    • Award ID: DE-FOA-0002892
    • Close Dates: TBD
    • Eligible Entities: TBD

 

  • USDOT: LOW OR NO EMISSION VEHICLE PROGRAM
    • Agency: USDOT
    • Purpose: purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. 
    • Available Funding: $1.22 billion
    • Award ID: FTA-2023-002-TPM-LWNO
    • Close Dates: Apr 13, 2023 
    • Eligible Entities: State governments, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), County governments, City or township governments. Eligible applicants include designated recipients, States (including territories and Washington D.C.), local governmental authorities, and Indian Tribes.
    • More Details

 

  • RURAL & TRIBAL INFRASTRUCTURE ADVANCEMENT PILOT PROGRAM
    • Agency: USDOT 
    • Purpose: provide technical, legal, and financial advisory assistance, evaluating potential projects to be delivered through alternative delivery through alternative delivery methods. 
    • Available Funding: $10million 
    • Award ID: TBD
    • Close Dates: TBD
    • Eligible Entities: rural state, local, and tribal governments

 

  • RECONNECTING COMMUNITIES PILOT PROGRAM – 2022-2026
    • Agency: USDOT 
    • Purpose: planning grants and capital construction grants, as well as technical assistance, to restore community connectivity through the removal, retrofit, mitigation, or replacement of eligible transportation infrastructure facilities.
    • Available Funding: $1billion
    • Award ID: TBD
    • Close Dates: TBD
    • Eligible Entities: States, Units of local government, Federally recognized Tribal governments, Metropolitan planning organizations, Nonprofit organizations

 

  • REBUILDING AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE WITH SUSTAINABILITY AND EQUITY (RAISE)
    • Agency: USDOT
    • Purpose: helps communities build transportation projects that have significant local or regional impact and improve safety and equity. 
    • Available Funding: $1.5billion
    • Award ID: TBD
    • Close Dates: February 28, 2023
    • Eligible Entities: State and local levels, including municipalities, Tribal governments, counties

 

  • STRENGTHENING MOBILITY AND REVOLUTIONIZING TRANSPORTATION (SMART) GRANTS PROGRAM
    • Agency: USDOT
    • Purpose: fund purpose-driven innovation to build data and technology capacity and expertise for State, local, and Tribal governments. Communities should target their real-world challenges where the use of new technologies and approaches can create benefits. 
    • Available Funding: $100million from 2022-2026
    • Award ID: TBD
    • Close Dates: FY 2022 is closed, more details added for FY 2023 when made available
    • Eligible Entities: State, political subdivision of a State, Tribal government, public transit agency or authority, a public toll authority, metropolitan planning organization, and group of 2 or more eligible entities detailed above, applying through a single lead applicant.