UK-based Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) is calling for critical focus on training on energy-efficient vehicles (EEV) as demand for such vehicles sets to increase. In a recent survey commissioned by the IMI in the UK, 53 percent of drivers planning to buy or lease a new car in the next two years are considering an electric or hybrid vehicle, which is a dramatic growth from the 2 percent of overall of the UK car sales in 2014.
Speaking at the IMI conference held here today, Steve Nash, Chief Executive Officer of the IMI said, “We have always expected demand for electric or hybrid vehicles to rise as these cars become more sophisticated over time and with the growing public awareness for alternative fuelled vehicles. Malaysia definitely has a strong potential to become the main regional training hub for electric vehicles as we see it as being ahead of others in the region in the area of electric vehicle adoption”.
Since early last year, the IMI has been working closely with the Malaysian government to provide training support across a network of community colleges, with emphasis on electric and hybrid vehicles, in line with the nation’s aim to be a regional EEV hub. The professional body for the automotive sector also recently announced it is looking for a partner in Malaysia to develop the international version of one of its latest qualifications, the L4 Award in the Diagnosis, Testing and Repair of Electric/Hybrid Vehicles and Components (QCF) that enables technicians to safely carry out repairs on live electric or hybrid vehicles.
Currently there are 264 EEV trained technicians in Malaysia and the Kepala Batas Community College’s Technology Centre for Hybrid and Electric Vehicle and Pekan Community College are among the IMI Approved Centres which have begun the process last year to equip technicians with new EEV skills. As the electric vehicle sector matures, Nash emphasized that more technicians need to be EEV trained as it entails working on high voltage electrical systems of such cars and unqualified staff attempting to work on these vehicles will face potentially fatal consequences.
Also speaking at the conference, Paul Spear, IMI’s Return on Investment (ROI) Manager who demonstrated the benefits of using the new IMI’s ROI Calculator app said, “Research has shown conclusively there is clear and significant financial return to employers with an average of 200 percent net return over a three year period. By using the app, businesses no longer need to rely on guesswork but can determine the ROI from their training costs and wages with solid facts and figures”.
The IMI conference in Kuala Lumpur is the very first conference organised by the Institute outside the UK. Malaysia is recognised as IMI’s most established international base and serves as a significant test bed to help ensure IMI’s qualifications are suitable for a global audience, to help it to expand to countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and China as well as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
The IMI offers over 250 technical and non-technical qualifications and accreditations through 560 training partners in more than 13 countries around the world. In Malaysia, the IMI has 24 Approved Centres comprising of community colleges, automotive companies like Nasim Sdn Bhd, Bermaz Motor Sdn Bhd and educational bodies such as the Otomotif College. An average of 1,500 candidates are trained per year in these local organizations.