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VACC calls for EV training

Minefield: Under the bonnet of an electric car.

Electric vehicle training urgently required to prevent workplace deaths, says VACC

General News logo17 Aug 2010

VICTORIA’S top automotive industry group has warned of workplace deaths unless the federal government urgently addresses concerns about working with hybrid and electric vehicles.

In concert with the newly formed Australian Automotive Industry Association (AAIA), the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), which represents 5500 motor retail, service and repair businesses in Victoria and Tasmania, has called for immediate federal government action on a range of “critical” issues concerning hybrids and EVs.

They include the immediate distribution of repair and service information on such vehicles to repairers around Australia the discussion, implementation and enforcement of national training packages for hybrid and EV repair staff and creation of a national forum at which key stakeholders could develop a co-ordinated approach to the repair of hybrids and EVs.

VACC executive director David Purchase said: “Cars know no boundaries. That is why any discussion on hybrid and electric vehicles has to be national.

“The Victorian government has made some progress with an EV trial, but the next federal government has to take the lead on safety and standards. In our ‘Issues for the 2010 Federal Election’ we have called for a high-level national conference to discuss this matter.

“Repairers are crying out for the appropriate hybrid and EV training. They are professionals who regularly retrain in order to keep up with developments in the automotive industry. But they are being held back because their role in this issue has been underestimated.

“If we do not address these issues, consumers will be limited in their choice of which repairer they can use and mechanics, panel beaters, auto-electricians, towing operators, dismantlers and recyclers will not be able to do their jobs properly.

“We are concerned that if these matters are not addressed there could be a death in a workshop. And if that happens the federal government will not be able to say ‘VACC, you did not warn us’, because we have,” said Mr Purchase.

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