The AA plans to train 2,000 patrols to IMI Level 2 by the end of the year, ensuring it has the capacity to support the growing number of electric vehicle (EV) drivers.
The organisation has achieved IMI Centre approval for the delivery of the training in-house.
Dean Keeling, managing director of AA roadside services, said: “We are proud to receive IMI accreditation to deliver industry leading EV training to our five-star patrols.
“We are giving power to electric drivers, by training our highly skilled patrols in gold standard EV qualifications so that we can safely repair their vehicles.”
All of The AA’s patrols are already trained to IMI Level 1 equivalent, which gives basic knowledge of safe working practices, the dangers surrounding and the precautions required to avoid potential injury when near electric and hybrid vehicles.
Level 2 training allows safe working on electric and hybrid vehicles that may have had damage to the high energy/electrical system.
Patrols based in areas of high EV ownership will start to be trained to IMI Level 3 equivalent standard during 2022, with more to be trained in 2023. This training will enable patrols to work on the high voltage components or systems to repair EVs at the roadside.
The IMI has identified that currently just 6.5% of the UK automotive aftermarket workforce is qualified to work on electric vehicles. The AA is keen to provide confidence to motorists which is why all patrols will be IMI TechSafe registered once they reach Level 2 standard.
The IMI TechSafe Standards for those working on EVs are set by the IMI and endorsed by the Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).
Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, added: “It is tremendously exciting to see the commitment the AA is making to upskilling its patrols to be ready to support its Electric and Hybrid driving customers at the roadside. As we advance towards a zero-emission future, it is going to become much more commonplace for roadside technicians to come into contact with these new technologies. It’s vital, therefore, that AA customers and the wider public have confidence that vehicle is being dealt with by someone who has the right skills.“
Last year, The AA launched a new towing solution to cut the waiting time for electric vehicle (EV) and 4x4 drivers who require recovery. The freewheeling hub can be fitted to the rear wheels of broken down vehicles that could not usually be towed by a regular patrol van.
The RAC recently added a Renault Zoe van to its patrol fleet and will use it to attend breakdowns. It claims to be the first major roadside assistance company in the UK to being using an electric vehicle in this way.
> Interested in comparing electric vehicle data? Check out our EV tool.
> Interested in ensuring the efficient use of EVs. Check out our dedicated editorial sections: Insight & policy | EV news | Charging & infrastructure | Costs & incentives | Benefit-in-kind | EV case studies | EV road tests