The introduction of electric buses – such as the Volvo BZL Electric to be launched soon – introduces a range of new operational factors that must be addressed by industry. The nature of electric vehicles means the introduction of high voltage systems requires extensive understanding about the way vehicles are built, operated and serviced.
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee announced the NSW Government, through TAFE, will develop short courses with Volvo Bus to help mechanics upskill and work safely with industry-leading bus technology.
Minister Lee said the training will play a key role in helping NSW transition to a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2030.
“The adoption of electric buses introduces a new range of skills needs that we must address such as working with high voltage systems and understanding the way vehicles are built, operated, and serviced,” Mr Lee said.
“We’re proud to be partnering with Volvo Bus, part of the largest automotive manufacturer in the country, to ensure the safety of people working in this industry.”
VBA believe safety in and around electric vehicles is an area that requires greater focus. It’s about protecting workers as they work with these new products in a variety of areas including assembly of a new bus, service of the vehicle in the workshop, driving the bus and managing emergency service responses as required.
“Safety is in our DNA and our sincere hope is that the content and courses we are working on together with TAFE NSW become the industry standard across all the country for all makes, vehicle types and brands,” says Mitch Peden, General Manager Volvo Bus Australia.
“We see the need for a national approach to training, skills and certification of staff, and are delighted to be partnering with TAFE NSW on these new programs. The introduction of electric vehicles is certainly not the time to compromise on safety – our operator partners and industry have done a fantastic job in recent years delivering safe public transport – now we have an opportunity to lift standards even further,” continues Peden.
Volvo’s dedicated bus team across Australia is already the most experienced in the bus and coach industry and delivers training across the country on a continual basis.
“Being able to partner with TAFE NSW on the general courses we will provide together compliments our more advanced diagnostic and vehicle training,” concludes Peden.