Growing demand for electric vehicles among consumers and fleet owners in the region is 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 National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) last year participated in the creation of the first nationally-distributed electric vehicle infrastructure training program (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 regulations and standards; renewable energy and electric vehicles, electric charging installation; and customer relations. The course work also includes training for code officials and inspectors, first responders, a field installation practicum and written examinations. Endorsed by US Congressman Cleaver, it keyways nicely into the Green Impact Zone.
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.
Local 124 electricians have already begun earning 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. “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.
“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 funded by U.S. Department of Energy Award EE-0005551, “Kansas – Missouri Community Readiness for EV and EVSE” and is a product of the Greater Kansas City Plug-In Readiness Initiative, which was co-led by Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition and Mid-America Regional Council and completed its work in summer 2011.
Electrify Heartland is led by a Steering Committee comprised of members from MEC, 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.
Efforts to Electrify the Heartland kicked off April 19th & 20th in Kansas City with the roll out of the Clean Cities Coalition strategic plan to bring electric vehicle charging infrastructure to the region. The plan is the work product of a collaborative of business, industry and key EV stakeholders such as the KCJATC and the IBEW Local Union # 124 who have been working over the past several months to complete the blueprint for charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles in our region.