Technician Training for Alternative Fuels
Like conventional vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) require proper maintenance. That's why it is important to have trained technicians to properly maintain and service AFVs. Technicians must understand the differences between various fuels and fuel systems and have a good understanding of maintenance schedules and AFVs components.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) fully back the alternative fuel vehicles they produce with standard warranties, adequate parts inventory, and trained technicians. And training classes are available for mechanics wishing to enter the field. The following organizations offer technician training for alternative fuel vehicles.
CVEF manages a U.S. Department of Energy-underwritten program that increases awareness of compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinder inspection requirements and encourages natural gas vehicle owners to periodically have their tanks inspected. Go to the CVEF website to locate certified cylinder inspectors, learn about cylinder safety inspection training courses, and find out how to apply for scholarships.
BAF Technologies integrates current and emerging AFV technologies and provides products and services for vehicle conversions. The company also offers complete product training available to its customers and industry partners. Service technicians are certified by the Texas Railroad Commission which qualifies them to recertify fuel storage systems, perform repairs to the high- and low-pressure fuel systems and operate as per NFPA52 regulations. For more information, visit the BAF website.
NAFTC is a nationwide training organization that develops curricula and conducts more than 20 courses and workshops focusing on alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. Thirty NAFTC national training centers are located throughout the United States. Visit the NAFTC website for more information.
NATEF evaluates technician training programs and providers against automotive industry standards and, if appropriate, recommends them for certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, commonly known as ASE. Visit the NATEF website for certified entry-level programs and certified in-service training providers.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has established an Alternative Fuels Series designed to identify and recognize those technicians who can demonstrate knowledge of the skills necessary to diagnose, service, and repair compressed natural gas vehicles. To earn ASE certification, technicians must pass the ASE Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle (F1) Test and present proof of at least two years of relevant work experience. The test consists of 55 multiple-choice questions. Technicians may substitute two years of relevant formal training for up to one year of the work experience requirement.
NGVI offers natural gas vehicle education, in-house training, and public education forums, technical assistance, and awareness programs for government, utility companies, suppliers, and customers. For more information, visit the NGVI website.
Community colleges across the nation offer certificate programs in a variety of courses focused on AFV maintenance. Technology courses cover vehicles powered by ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen, electricity, propane, and natural gas. Contact your local community college for full details about their offerings. Local Clean Cities coordinators can also identify local training facilities.