With electronic vehicles becoming more popular, who will be the auto technicians of the future?
Perhaps computer programmers? They already have the mindsets and meta-cognitive skills to ensure that digitally connected EVs roll the roads safely.
Why would knowledge of R, Python, Java, or SQL help someone fix an EV?
Even if you’ve never picked up a wrench, learn more about why you might be great at repairing EVs or EV charging infrastructure.
The Worldwide EV Technician/EV Charging Field Service Shortage
With scarce supply and increasing demand for qualified workers, now is the perfect time to become a qualified technician for auto dealerships and repair shops.
The transition from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to EVs will take time, but those with early-mover advantages will leverage their expertise into lucrative positions. While there are three EV components you might be able to fix at home, the vast majority require professional service.
If the idea of working on cars doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps servicing charging stations might be your thing.
Right now, electricians are the ones who get the call when a charging station is malfunctioning. The problem is often a software-related issue. Electricians have a wide range of skills, but fixing software isn’t one of them.
Because computer professionals already know how to deploy certain approaches, they’re well-posed to transfer their skills.
Computational Approaches to Problem-Solving
The more complex a vehicle or charger is, the more critical thinking skills are required to diagnose and fix a problem accurately. Here’s an example of a repair communication from Chevrolet, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that details how to fix a bolt.
1. Algorithmic Thinking
As you can see, these step-by-step repair instructions are meant to be replicable across many vehicles. They must be applied in a specific order. Ensuring the correct initial conditions, paying attention to detail, and following sequential steps are critical in both computer coding and EV repair.
This Bolt fix is essentially a software update, and it requires breaking the problem down into smaller manageable steps. Decomposition is one of the cornerstones of computational thinking and comes as second nature to seasoned programmers. This transferable skill will make EV and charging station repairs and upgrades feel like familiar territory.
3. Pattern Recognition
Part of repairing anything, be it vacuums or EVs, involves recognizing similarities across models. While each EV and charging station will have its own design quirks, being able to discern patterns and apply heuristic thinking will make computer programmers feel right at home.
Often—a car comes into a shop and there’s no manufacturer guidance. The owner will describe an intermittent condition; for example, their car doesn’t start from time to time. This doesn’t give a technician much to go on and requires a systematic approach to locate the problem.
5. Perseverance & Collaboration
You’ve tried everything you can think of nothing is solving the issue. If this sounds familiar, you know that sometimes you need to hang in there, take a step back, and think about the problem from a different perspective—or call a friend. While you might not find the answer on how to repair an EV on Stack Overflow, if you’re willing to ask questions and listen to other people’s ideas, you’ll be on your way to success.
Why Should You Become an EV Tech?
If you’re passionate about climate change, working as an EV technician might be just your thing. Or, maybe you want a chance to work with your hands that still challenges your mind.
Whatever the case, there are numerous paths depending on your time frame and end goal. There’s no need to give up your day job. You could experiment with EV repair and see what it adds to your life.
If you enjoy it, get a new resume together, but avoid these 11 overused words. Who knows what entrepreneurial paths might open themselves up?
EV Training Programs
There are a number of training programs, such as Tesla Start.
Lincoln Tech graduates can apply to Tesla Start and spend 16 paid weeks learning how to use various tools to fix Teslas and charging stations.
You can check with your local community colleges to see what they offer in the way of EV training. Northeast Texas Community College has the first electric vehicle (EV) automotive technician certification program, but many more are sure to follow.
You can also check out local automotive technician schools in your area. As with any training, some will be better than others. Find a reputable school that offers an EV training program and ask if you can come to watch a class to two to get a feel for what’s happening. Be wary of online training. Though certain concepts could be learned via webinars, there’s no substitute for hands-on training in this context.
Why EV Techs Will Shape the Future
Computer geeks of all stripes—programmers, engineers, coders, and enthusiasts—already possess the in-demand skills to help fix EVs and usher in a new age of electric mobility. If you’re a lifelong learner who enjoys persevering and collaborating, then EV technician might be the rewarding career you’ve never considered.
EV vehicles and charging stations will continue to evolve, and this means new jobs will be created. If it’s something that interests you, start learning more and see where it takes you.