Douglas Redman, Associate Professor of Automotive/Advanced Transportation, used CEC funds to purchase a Mirai as well as PicoScopes, which are advanced diagnostic tools.
Redman said there’s still a stigma in the industry of auto shops and garages not wanting to service hybrids or alternative fuel vehicles because of safety issues and they are too complex.
He’s hoping that his students, armed with knowledge on how to safely repair these vehicles, can help break down that stigma.
“The goal is to give them the skills that make them more marketable,” Redman said. “They will enter the workforce not being afraid of hybrids or electric or hydrogen cars.”
Students in those programs will perform hands-on work on the Mirai and other alternative fuel vehicles.
The purchase of PicoScopes will also allow students to gain experience using a diagnostic tool that they are likely to see if they get a job servicing alternate fuel vehicles. The program previously had an older version that did not interface with the computer systems in newer model vehicles.
College of the Desert is also acquiring a new generation “LowNox/Near Zero” emission heavy duty engine and partnering with San Bernardino Valley College, who also acquired this engine, to provide training to students and faculty on alternative fuels across the region.
“It’s such a cutting edge market that what looks like a good tool today might not be used anymore,” Redman said. “Our goal is to supply an industry equivalent so the student isn’t touching something they’ve never seen before when they walk into a job.”
Ben French, Co-Chair of the college’s Automotive Technology Program, completed a training course in January that allowed him to update the college’s curriculum throughout the rest of the semester.
“The highlight of the class was a complete removal and reinstallation of the high pressure hydrogen storage tanks using Toyota specialty tools,” French said. “This course provided me with invaluable information that I am using to shape the future curriculum and equipment needs of the American River College AFV Training Program.”
The college also plans to install a CNG fueling station and has already submitted a requisition for the purchase.
The need for workers skilled in servicing natural gas vehicles will continue to grow as their use in the San Diego area increases. This applies to fleets such as San Diego Transit buses, Waste Management of San Diego trucks, and even new ships being built in the region by General Dynamics Nassco.
CEC funding has already enabled Miramar to purchase five ISL G training engines and special tooling to be used in its CNG engine overhaul course.
“The engine overhaul course teaches the student-technician the critical thinking, and manipulative skills that technicians need to be employed in the medium duty CNG service industry,” said Daniel Willkie, Professor of Diesel Technology.
The college plans to launch its natural gas technology training program with a cohort of 20 students this fall and complete a curriculum change by Fall 2018 that will allow for a dedicated focus on natural gas technology.
The college also , which will provide more opportunity to workers who are seeking to enhance their skills to obtain a new job or advance in their existing positions.
Rio Hondo College in Whittier has used funding to upgrade equipment for its graduating class in the Alternative Fuels and Electric/Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology programs. Seventeen students are graduating this year and 30 are continuing on in the two Alternative Fuels A.S. programs. Nearly all graduates received multiple job offers, according to Professor John Frala.
In addition to buying equipment, CEC funding also allowed students to attend meetings with leaders in the alternative fuel industry. Frala took a group to visit the hydrogen fueling station at California State University Los Angeles to learn about renewable energy resources.
“The tour was from the engineering point of view and went into the details of electrolysis from a green source, how the different stages of compression happen and why, and how the temperatures are controlled to the -20C before the final drop at the fill station nozzle to -54C,” Frala said.
While there, they saw the testing laboratory and equipment used to detect unseen particulate matter that comes from combustion. They also toured a compressed natural gas station and observed a Toyota Mirai being filled with hydrogen fuel.
Following the tours students wrote a research paper comparing the different types of fueling methods and technologies they observed.
CEC funds are also being used to build a high voltage safety course and lab that will provide hands-on simulation of battery energy storage and management.
The San Francisco Bay Area has been at the forefront of alternative vehicle technology for the last decade, with City College of San Francisco (CCSF) preparing students to work for some of the world’s top automotive companies.
In fact, Tesla recently hired seven CCSF students trained in electric vehicle technology and plans to continue to hire through CCSF. City CarShare, a San Francisco-based enterprise that maintains a fleet of more than 400 vehicles including hybrids and EVs, also hires CCSF students trained in AFV technologies. Read More →
The newly-awarded colleges originally applied for the funding in August, 2016 and will now be able to carry out their plans to train students, create curriculum, purchase equipment, and educate faculty on the latest industry technologies.
The Cypress College Advanced Transportation Center’s partnerships within the automotive industry have evolved over the past 15 years to include major players, such as Toyota and now Tesla Motors. In fact, the Cypress College electric vehicle training program is placing students and entry level technicians at participating Toyota and Tesla repair centers in the Orange County area. Read More →
Sitting at the bottom of California’s Central Valley, Bakersfield provides a central location to San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Las Vegas. From Bakersfield, travelers can be in any of these cities in around four hours, about 250 miles of travel, and in Los Angeles in about half the time.
The San Francisco Bay Area has been listed among the top hybrid markets in the nation, with a visible increase in alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) on the roadways including passenger cars, commercial fleet vehicles and buses. With ride sharing on the rise, companies are now partnering with automotive manufacturers to provide alternative fuel and autonomous vehicles, which will add to the number of AFVs on the road, and technicians needed in the shops.
California continues to lead the nation in the deployment of alternative fueled vehicles (AFV), particularly in hybrid and Electric Vehicle (EV) models. The state’s stringent restrictions on fuel emissions and the related incentives for consumers to purchase AFV models has been particularly successful in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County region. In fact, Los Angeles currently comprises one quarter of all EV sales in the United States. Read More →
Produced by Advanced Transportation and Renewable Energy. ATRE represents an array of clean energy technologies that form a critical part of California’s strategy for reducing its climate change impact and its dependency on foreign energy, as well as growing a robust green economy by helping California’s businesses remain competitive in a global market.
The EOT is a “Go, No-Go Device“ to help you and your campus make a decision about the creation of a class or program. Many things need to be considered before money, people and time are invested in the curriculum development process and this template will help you determine if the opportunity is truly there.
EOT Template (Link)