Working with electric vehicles means automotive service and repair technicians need to up their training and pack their patience.
If the thought of electrical knowledge “makes you sweat,” then Ben Johnson, director of product management at Mitchell 1, recommends you get some training under your belt.
“You need to understand the relationship between voltage current and resistance. You need to understand how current flows and how to isolate circuits and how to measure things,” he said during his presentation Preparing for Electrification — What Shops Need to do to Get Ready. “You need to be familiar with your basic tools, like your multimeter, maybe your digital oscilloscope [and] maybe your scan tool.”
Johnson was speaking at AAPEX 2021 as part of the Let’s Tech on the AAPEX Stage at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
Furthermore, he added, technicians are going to have to get familiar with wiring diagrams. “These things are getting much, much more complex because there’s much more electronic content on the vehicle.”
Yes, there will be opportunities for traditional service and maintenance in an EV. Things like brakes, suspension and HVAC — things that aren’t tied to a traditional internal combustion engine. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be easier to deal with.
“These things are not getting simpler — they’re getting more complex to deal with,” he said.
Take wiring diagrams. An ICE vehicle would have about one, maybe two pages of content. Johnson then showed the diagram for a Toyota Prius.
“There’s nine pages of diagrams just for that circuit,” he said. “So it can be pretty daunting to try and find a particular circuit that you’re interested in within those nine pages.”