KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 11, 2012 — Growing demand for electric vehicles among consumers and fleet owners in the region is also creating demand for highly skilled electrical workers with the specialized training required to safely and efficiently install charging stations and other electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) that will ensure the success of the electric vehicle industry.
To keep pace with the need for skilled electricians, Kansas City’s Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center (KCJATC), operated by IBEW Local 124 and the Kansas City Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (KCNECA) last year introduced one of the nation’s first electric vehicle infrastructure training programs (EVITP).
EVITP is recognized as a training partner by the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Division and offers a comprehensive 24-hour course for licensed electricians across North America. The training includes instruction in electrical codes, safety and other building regulations and standards; renewable energy and electric vehicles, EVSE installations; and customer relations. The course work also includes training for code officials and inspectors, first responders, a field installation practicum and written examinations.
Developed in collaboration with automakers, utility companies, EVSE manufacturers and key stakeholders such as the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the EVITP has certified more than 220 instructors and 800 electricians through the program and has representation in 35 states including Missouri.
More than 25 electricians have earned EVITP certification at the KCJATC, and many have been involved in commercial and residential EVSE installations performed by area contractors including Mark One Electric of Kansas City, Mo., and Heartland Electric in Belton, Mo. There are now 35 public electric vehicle charging stations within 50 miles of Downtown Kansas City, according to the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC). Public charging locations are forecast to grow by almost 100-fold in the next four years particularly with challenges to reduce costs of equipment.
“We’re investing in our people so that Kansas City-area owners and operators have the best possible experience with their electric vehicles,” said Jim Cianciolo, training director at the KCJATC and member of the national EVITP Curriculum Committee. “We’re committed to ensuring the proper, safe installation of charging equipment in both the residential and commercial markets.”
Cianciolo said proper training is especially important in the consumer market, as 65 percent of electric vehicle owners are choosing to install Level 2 charging stations in their homes. These 240-volt stations are capable of fully charging a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) battery in four to five hours. Commercial and public charging stations can be even more complex. There are currently 48 EVSE manufacturers with 14 models UL listed and that list is continually growing.
“As one of the partners in the Electrify Heartland planning project, we believe the EVITP will help establish best practices for developing the skilled workers required to ensure a safe and reliable charging infrastructure for years to come,” adds Terry Akins, business manager, IBEW Local 124. “We will continue to work with the national EVITP Curriculum Committee to ensure the highest industry standards for electric vehicle supply equipment installations.”
Electrify Heartland is an electric vehicle planning project managed by the Metropolitan Energy Center to create a plan for electric vehicle and charging infrastructure preparedness in Greater Kansas City; Wichita, Salina, Topeka and Lawrence, Kan.; and Jefferson City, Mo. The planning area covers 14 counties and a population of 2.7 million people. Electrify Heartland is supported by funding from U.S. Department of Energy Award EE-0005551, “Kansas – Missouri Community Readiness for EV and EVSE.”
Electrify Heartland is led by a Steering Committee comprised of members from Metropolitan Energy Center, Black & Veatch, Polsinelli Shughart PC, IBEW Local 124, the Kansas City Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
About the Metropolitan Energy Center
The Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) is a Missouri not-for-profit organization. Founded in 1980, its mission is to help create resource efficiency, environmental health and economic vitality in the Kansas City Metro. MEC is a catalyst for community partnerships focused on energy conservation. It works through a variety of educational and training programs, including Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition, Home Performance, Project Living Proof and EnergyWorks KC. Every energy dollar conserved through MEC’s work remains available for investment in the local economy.
MEC was awarded more than $17 million in federal grants in recent years and is a partner in other multi-million-dollar projects in Kansas and Missouri. MEC has been the recipient of many awards recognizing its contribution to energy conservation and was host of the national Affordable Comfort Conference in 2003 and 2009. For more information, please visit www.kcenergy.org.
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