Electric Motorists set to get more confidence in garage competence

Electric Motorists

The Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) endorsement of IMI TechSafe™ standards for those working on electrified vehicles will give motorists confidence they can access the right skills for vehicle servicing and repairs.

The Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has given its endorsement to the Institute of the Motor Industry’s (IMI) TechSafe™ standards for people working on electrified vehicles. This will mean that electrified vehicle users can access the IMI Professional Register to check the electric vehicle technical competencies of technicians at their local garage. OLEV believes this is a crucial step in giving car buyers confidence that their electric vehicle can be serviced, maintained and repaired by a garage with the right skills – and that removes a key barrier to EV adoption.

Minister of State for the Future of Transport, George Freeman, MP said: “Electrification of vehicles is happening and we want to make sure that drivers have confidence that their vehicles can be maintained and serviced to the highest standard. Safety will always be our first priority and building a sector equipped to manage the increasing demand of electrified vehicles is key.
“Today’s launch of the IMI TechSafe™ standards is a crucial step in providing electric car buyers with extra assurance and towards achieving a zero-emission future.”

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI added: “As we advance towards a zero-emission future, the technology that technicians will be coming into contact with on a daily basis is changing – resulting in high voltage electrics becoming commonplace. Motorists driving electrified vehicles want to know that they are handing over their vehicle to someone who has the right skills.

Office of Low Emission

“Those who aren’t properly trained or equipped to work on electrified vehicles would be risking serious injury or potentially fatal shock, which is why we are delighted the Office for Low Emission Vehicles has given their endorsement to our Electrified Vehicle Standards, under the IMI TechSafe™ banner.  The IMI Professional Register will include a list of technicians meeting EV TechSafe™ standards so that any motorist can check that technicians at their local garage are able to work on their vehicle safely.

“It eliminates another concern for electric car buyers and safeguards the general public and other road users against unfit or potentially dangerous electric vehicles being on UK roads.  It also means technicians who have the right skills will be able to demonstrate their expertise through the IMI Professional Register.”

The culmination of detailed work to develop the Electrified Vehicle Professional Standards, championed by the IMI with support from other industry bodies, the new EV TechSafe™ Standards, give technicians an easy way to certify their EV competence.  They will centre on EV qualifications, IMI accreditation, accredited training, professional behaviours and a commitment to CPD over an agreed number of years. The standards will comply with the Electricity at Work regulations, which are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

“As well as responding to the need to give EV drivers the reassurance that the garage they take their vehicle to has properly trained and qualified technicians, we believe these new standards are also crucial for employers”, added Steve Nash.

“There are considerable challenges when it comes to ensuring staff are properly trained and qualified to work on electrified vehicles which pose a significant safety risk. The EV Professional Standard is a significant step forward to address these concerns, and it will not stand still.  The EV TechSafe™ standard will evolve with the technology and the needs of the motor retail industry.

“Throughout the process of developing the Standards collaboration has been crucial, to ensure they are fit for purpose and will genuinely address industry and public barriers to wider EV adoption.”

The SMMT added its endorsement of the Standards: “TechSafe™ is a timely initiative that can encourage EV uptake and aid others outside of the dealer networks to understand some of the myths and complexities of EV maintenance; safety and duty of care should always be the priority of any initiative”.

Training offered through all providers, in addition to the IMI, will be eligible for the accreditation scheme.