Hybrid and electric vehicles are more and more numerous on our roads, but not all mechanics are trained to do their maintenance.
Studies show that owners of electric models are more inclined to rely on their dealer for repairs, for fear that an independent mechanic will not be able to provide adequate service.
Faced with this observation, the Ateliers branchés initiative was born, giving itself the mandate to train Quebec mechanics and create a directory of certified workshops. To discuss it, Antoine Joubert and Frédéric Mercier received André Gamelin, one of the initiators of the project, on the program The Car Guide on QUB Radio.
A need for training
By dint of talking with mechanics and going to events focused on the electrification of transport, André Gamelin noticed a lack of knowledge in the maintenance of electric vehicles. “People have a lot more questions than you think. They do not master the types of charging stations or information on batteries, ”he notes, explaining that many mechanics are interested in the electric transition of the automobile, but do not know where to turn to acquire the knowledge necessary to service electrified models.
The training provided by Ateliers branchés thus enables mechanics to better understand the issues specifically related to this type of vehicle. “We offer four levels of training,” he explains. This can range from a simple informative meeting with workshop staff to classes on how to remove a battery and high voltage cables.
As for the tools necessary for the maintenance of electric vehicles, André Gamelin assures us that it is not necessary to spend a fortune for a mechanic to be able to equip himself well. “If we exclude the table to lower the battery, when we put $ 5,000, we are well equipped,” he says, adding that the traditional tools of mechanics can be used for several tasks on electric vehicles. After all, whether electric or gasoline-powered, all vehicles have similar components like brakes or suspensions. The mechanics are therefore not starting from square one.
Be part of the discussion
In addition to offering training to Quebec mechanics, the Ateliers branchés initiative aims to help mechanical workshops certified in electric vehicles to become better known.
“Several years ago, when there was a restaurant that claimed to have air conditioning, we would eat at that restaurant,” says André Gamelin, laughing. He wants to take up a similar concept by providing workshops with visual posters indicating his specialization, as well as an online directory that motorists looking for a competent mechanic can consult.
In addition to that, André Gamelin tries to encourage owners of mechanical workshops to install a charging station in front of their business. In the end, the objective is to make motorists understand that the purchase of an electric vehicle is possible … and that its maintenance can be carried out elsewhere than at the dealership!
News of the week
During this episode, Antoine Joubert and Frédéric Mercier returned to the unveiling of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
They also discussed the abandonment of the Hellcat engine as well as the nomination of the vehicles of the year by the team of the Car guide.
The two hosts also shared their thoughts on the recently tested Ford Escape PHEV and Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Answers to readers’ questions
Antoine Joubert and Frédéric Mercier ended the program by answering certain questions sent by listeners.
To send a question to our team, it’s here!
The Car Guide, it’s every Saturday at 10 a.m. on QUB Radio, on Sunday at 2 p.m.