Sunday morning ‘fixing’ the car on the drive used to be the pastime of a lot of people. Nowadays it’s become more and more difficult… but what about EV’s or Electric Vehicles?

As a ‘Sunday morning’ mechanic the most dangerous thing, unless you did something daft, was to skin your knuckles trying to undo a seized bolt. Maybe you unwittingly earthed the battery with your spanner and gave yourself a jolt. 12 volts will make you jump, it can make your arm ache and swear like a sailor.

But it won’t kill you.

Unlike an electric vehicle which could have 400 volts direct current running through it. Touch that and you’re in trouble. Permanently. Unqualified mechanics trying to mend electric vehicles could kill themselves or even their customers. The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has a major concern that many mechanics are not properly trained to work with electric cars.

As Electric Vehicles, or Ecars, can have circuits that deliver more than three times the voltage running through our houses, there’s a very real danger if not managed and handled properly.

The IMI’s Chief Executive, Steve Nash appreciates how critical an issue this could be. With the increase in the number of hybrid and full electric vehicles in the UK up by 72%, there’ll be more and more need for mechanics and body repair specialists to undergo training. Steve Nash commented.

“Sooner or later somebody is going to attempt to do something they shouldn’t do and they are going to fry themselves. That will either be the person working on it who gets a 600- or 700-volt shock or it might be a member of the public exposed to a fire risk,” he potentially lethal if an untrained person doesn’t know what to do.”

IMI’s Chief Executive, Steve Nash

It’s anticipated that the number of electric vehicles registered in the UK during 2020 will be close to 100,000. With just over 1000 people properly trained to repair them it presents a real and growing danger.

Knowing how and when to power down a vehicle safely before attempting even basic tasks is critical. How many people, even experienced mechanics and body shop techs, truly understand that there can be 700 volts plus (they run on 360 and 400 DC current) surging through a cars circuits?

Electric vehicles are potentially lethal if an untrained person doesn’t know what to do. However, with the proper training, the risks are negligible, it’s then just about following the correct processes and not taking any shortcuts. Electric vehicles are here to stay and the need for well trained technicians, and for Electric Vehicle owners to understand, is increasing exponentially.

At AXIOM Repair Centres, every technician undergoes full IMI Training and Certification, including training with emergency EV hazard equipment.

“It’s that serious. It’s not scaremongering. It’s real.”

IMI’s Chief Executive, Steve Nash

First and foremost, it’s our responsibility to keep everyone safe. Electric vehicles are a fantastic innovation, just make sure that only fully trained personnel ever get under the ‘bonnet’.