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IMI TechSafe EV standards gain Government endorsement

IMI chief executive, Steve Nash

The Institute of the Motor Industry’s (IMI) TechSafe standards for car technicians working with electric vehicles (EV) have been officially endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

A statement issued by OLEV today (October 24) stated that the creation of the new safety and skills standards meant that EV owners could “access the IMI Professional Register to check the electric vehicle technical competencies of technicians at their local garage”, adding that this was “a crucial step in giving car buyers confidence that their electric vehicle can be serviced, maintained and repaired by a garage with the right skills”.

OLEV said that the register would, in turn, remove a key barrier to EV adoption.

Minister of State for the Future of Transport, George Freeman, MP said: “Electrification of vehicles is happening and we want to make sure that drivers have confidence that their vehicles can be maintained and serviced to the highest standard.

“Safety will always be our first priority and building a sector equipped to manage the increasing demand of electrified vehicles is key.

“Today’s launch of the IMI TechSafe standards is a crucial step in providing electric car buyers with extra assurance and towards achieving a zero-emission future.”

The endorsement of the new TechSafe standards comes over a year after the IMI first presented new information related to the regulation of technicians working on electric vehicles to the Parliamentary Secretary of State for the Department for Transport and nine months after it called for further development in EV skills training, following the Government’s response to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee's Electric vehicles: driving the transition report. 

The new EV TechSafe Standards will centre on EV qualifications, IMI accreditation, accredited training, professional behaviours and a commitment to CPD over an agreed number of years.

The standards will comply with the Electricity at Work regulations, which are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

IMI chief executive, Steve Nash, said: “As we advance towards a zero-emission future, the technology that technicians will be coming into contact with on a daily basis is changing – resulting in high voltage electrics becoming commonplace.

“Motorists driving electrified vehicles want to know that they are handing over their vehicle to someone who has the right skills.

“Those who aren’t properly trained or equipped to work on electrified vehicles would be risking serious injury or potentially fatal shock, which is why we are delighted the Office for Low Emission Vehicles has given their endorsement to our Electrified Vehicle Standards, under the IMI TechSafe banner.” 

Nash said that the IMI Professional Register will include a list of technicians meeting EV TechSafe standards so that any motorist can check that technicians at their local garage are able to work on their vehicle safely.

He added: “It eliminates another concern for electric car buyers and safeguards the general public and other road users against unfit or potentially dangerous electric vehicles being on UK roads.

“It also means technicians who have the right skills will be able to demonstrate their expertise through the IMI Professional Register.”

Endorsement of the new TechSafe technician accreditation standards comes five months after the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) sought to achieve new standards in the sales advice offered to potential EV owners with the launch of its Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme.

Officially launched at an official launch event at the House of Commons, EVA was developed by NFDA and endorsed by the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST) and aims to certify retailers’ excellence in the electric vehicle sector.

Speaking at EVA’s launch Future of Mobility Minister, Jesse Norman, said: “Record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads are good news, as we seek to end the sale of new conventional diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.

“The accreditation recognises businesses with knowledge, capability and commitment to electric vehicles, and will help to encourage more car owners to switch to a greener alternative.”

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