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A jolt for electric vehicle infrastructure training

The Canadian launch of the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) aims to collaborate with industry as it trains and certifies construction electricians in the installation of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).

“Industry-driven training is tailored to meet real demand and specific objectives for content, quantity and even location,” said Eryl Roberts, executive vice-president of the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario.

“We’re providing as an industry the training infrastructure, to train the trainer, making sure standards align with Canadian standards and engaging all the training and delivery agents regardless of affiliation and inviting them into this process.”

EVITP involves the original equipment manufacturers so there is an industry commitment to a standard technology, said Roberts.

“We have learned that a successful roll-out of new training initiatives requires a team approach involving the trades, contractors, training centres and colleges, standards agencies and government.”

EVITP and the National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO), the joint training arm of the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association (CECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), First District, Canada, recently launched the program in British Columbia.

There was an EVITP Instructor Training, Phase 1 pilot held at the Electrical Joint Training Centre in Port Coquitlam, B.C. from June 10-13 and one will be held in Mississauga, Ont. from July 22-25.

The adaptation of the EVITP training and certification program for Canada was sponsored by NETCO on behalf of the electrical industry in Canada.

EVITP began in the United States in April 2011 to provide the electric vehicle transportation sector of the electrical industry, and all stakeholders, with a structured platform to facilitate training and certification for the installation of EVSE across residential, commercial/public and fleet markets.

Jennifer Mefford, EVITP national co-chair, said the program really started as a conversation with industry about what was needed to help support the market.

“Our electricians needed to know, not just the technical aspects of installation, but they really needed to understand the whole industry because it was so new,” she explained.

“They learn everything from different types of vehicles that are out there, how they actually all work and the differences between all the electric battery vehicles and plug-in hybrids. They also learn about the interfaces through the software on your smart phone.”

There are currently 1,400 EVITP-certified electricians in the U.S. and 240 EVITP certified instructors covering about 35 states.

The EVITP curriculum is updated often and the Canadian program will be the same.

“It incorporates new vehicles, new equipment all the time. It’s an ongoing update process so it’s really reflective of the market at the time,” said Mefford.

Roberts anticipates an eventual convergence of electrical vehicle technology and renewable energy technologies. NETCO has already been involved with solar PV certification.
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