Diving into Singapore’s First Dedicated EV Maintenance Training Facility

With Singapore’s ambitious goal of phasing out new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating rapidly across the island. 

However, this transition creates a pressing skills gap—as of 2023, only 2% of the country’s automotive technicians were equipped with the necessary training in EV maintenance. 

To help bridge this gap and pave the way for a future of efficient and sustainable transportation, NTUC LearningHub, a leading Continuing Education and Training (CET) provider, has partnered with Chinese EV manufacturer BYD to launch Singapore’s first dedicated EV training simulation centre. 

Establishing this dedicated EV training facility comes at a critical juncture for Singapore. 

According to NTUC LHUB’s industry insights report 2023 on EVs, about 70% of business leaders agree that traditional automotive jobs will become obsolete with the rise of EVs. Furthermore, 59% of these leaders say their organisations intend to venture into the EV industry.

Yet, despite this growing demand, the supply of trained EV technicians still needs to be improved. 

This stark skills gap poses a significant challenge to the country’s ambitious goal of achieving 100% adoption of cleaner energy vehicles by 2040.

I was invited to tour this new facility and see firsthand the EV maintenance courses offered.

Given the demand for electric vehicles following the government’s push to accelerate the electrification of the vehicle population in Singapore, there is a need to elevate the skills of the workforce for the industry.

NTUC LHUB’s Chief Sector Skills Officer, Mr Tay Ee Learn

The Comprehensive Training Simulators

Located at the NTUC LHUB Industry Skills Center in Benoi, the new 75-square-meter NTUC LHUB and BYD Electric Vehicle Training Simulation Centre offers an exciting, hands-on learning experience that will captivate aspiring automotive technicians. 

The facility’s heart is a suite of 6 specialised EV simulators developed by BYD.

These simulators cover various EV systems and components, allowing trainees to practice essential maintenance and repair skills safely. For instance, the EV High Voltage Traction Battery Simulator teaches students about battery construction and safe handling procedures. 

On the other hand, the EV CAN Bus System Simulator helps them understand how the vehicle’s various electronic modules communicate.

Other simulators focus on motor diagnosis, battery testing, power control assembly, and more. Importantly, the training is structured to align with the National Electric Vehicle Specialist Safety (NESS) certification program requirements.

Beyond the simulators, the centre also features an EV component training section and a functional BYD e6 vehicle. This combination of virtual and physical training, supplemented by theory lessons and group exercises, aims to provide a holistic learning experience.

I tried several simulators myself and was impressed by how realistic and immersive they felt. 

Even as a novice, I could navigate the virtual environments and practice procedures without fearing costly mistakes. 

One key takeaway? Improper EV washing can lead to serious electrical issues – just like with any other electronics.

Talking to the Trainers and Trainees

I spoke with the highly qualified and experienced NTUC LHUB trainer and some students undergoing the EV maintenance courses to better understand the centre’s objectives and the value it brings to trainees.

With their extensive knowledge and practical experience in the field, the trainer ensures that the training is comprehensive and up to industry standards.

The trainees I spoke with echoed this sentiment, expressing their appreciation for the practical, hands-on nature of the training. 

One student shared a compelling story of how the simulators had enriched his understanding of EV systems and troubleshooting procedures, underscoring the value of the training programs and inspiring others to embark on this career path.

The launch of NTUC LHUB and BYD Electric Vehicle Training Simulation Centre significantly addresses Singapore’s EV skills gap, instilling hope for a future where the workforce is well-equipped to support the nation’s green transportation revolution. 

This facility equips the workforce with the expertise to support the nation’s green transportation revolution by providing comprehensive, hands-on training to aspiring automotive technicians.

As someone who had the chance to experience the centre firsthand, I was thoroughly impressed by the level of detail and realism in the simulators and the holistic approach to EV maintenance education. 

For anyone interested in future-proofing their automotive career, these EV training programs are undoubtedly worth considering. The skills and knowledge gained from these programs can open up new career opportunities in the rapidly growing EV industry, providing a secure and promising future in the automotive sector.

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