The AA, the UK’s number one breakdown provider, has partnered with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to upskill around 2,000 patrols with industry leading EV training. All of the AA’s patrols are already trained to IMI Level 1 equivalent*, with the AA’s goal to train all patrols to become IMI Level 2 equivalent by the end of the year.
In addition, patrols based in areas of high EV ownership will start to be trained to IMI Level 3 equivalent standard during 2022, with more to be trained in 2023. This training will enable patrols to follow best safety practices on electric and hybrid vehicles, including on the high voltage components or systems to repair EVs at the roadside.
One of the reasons drivers are nervous about buying EV’s is due to the skill shortage in the service, maintenance and repair workforce. The IMI has identified that currently just 6.5% of the UK automotive aftermarket workforce is qualified to work on electric vehicles. The AA is keen to provide confidence to motorists which is why all patrols will be IMI TechSafeTM registered once they reach Level 2 standard.
The IMI TechSafeTM Standards for those working on Electric Vehicles (EV) are set by the IMI and endorsed by the Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). The AA Training Centre in Oldbury has achieved IMI Centre approval for the delivery of the training to meet IMI TechSafeTM standards.
Training will continue for years to come as the AA will also offer continuous personal development (CPD) training to ensure all roadside assistance staff are updated on new and evolving EV technology.
Last year, EV registrations made up 11.6% of new car sales compared to 8.2% of new sales being diesel**. This shift in consumer attitudes shows that EVs are a suitable alternative to combustion cars.
Dean Keeling, managing director of AA roadside services, said: “We are proud to receive IMI accreditation to deliver industry leading EV training to our five-star patrols***.
“We are giving power to electric drivers, by training our highly skilled patrols in gold standard EV qualifications so that we can safely repair their vehicles.”
Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, added: “It is tremendously exciting to see the commitment the AA is making to upskilling its patrols to be ready to support its Electric and Hybrid driving customers at the roadside. As we advance towards a zero-emission future, it is going to become much more commonplace for roadside technicians to come into contact with these new technologies. It’s vital, therefore, that AA customers and the wider public have confidence that vehicle is being dealt with by someone who has the right skills.“
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “As we make the mass switch to electric vehicles, drivers up and down the country will benefit from a smoother and more efficient driving experience while helping to make our air cleaner, lives healthier and employment opportunities greener.
“I’m pleased to see AA backing the UK’s transport revolution by providing industry-leading training to its staff, ensuring they have the confidence and skills to support the growing market of EVs. This is a very welcome step forward as we accelerate towards our important net-zero ambitions.”
* IMI Level 1 gives basic knowledge of safe working practices, the dangers surrounding and the precautions required to avoid potential injury when near electric and hybrid vehicles.
IMI Level 2 allows safe working on electric and hybrid vehicles that may have had damage to the high energy/electrical system, although not to work on the high voltages components or systems themselves.
IMI Level 3 allows patrols to work on the high voltage components and systems.
Find out more here: https://tide.theimi.org.uk/learn/qualifications/electric-vehicle-qualifications