Paul Andrew, EV student

“I’m not a green person. I didn’t buy it [a new hybrid Mitsubishi] for the fuel economy. I  bought it for the technology. I’m a gadget person.”

So says Paul Andrew, 54, who is currently enrolled in the NZ Certificate in Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering [Level 5] at EIT | Te Pūkenga.

Paul has been an auto-electrician since he was 16 and works at Collins Automotive in Hamilton city.  He  says that when he heard that he could study Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering in Hawke’s Bay, he jumped at the chance  and enrolled in the EV online course with encouragement from his boss, Jason Land.

Eastern Institute of Technology and Otago Polytechnic – now part of the newly formed Te Pukenga – are the only two places in New Zealand offering both the theory and practical training that leads to the NZ Certificate in Electric Vehicle Automotive Engineering. 

The programme is designed for experienced automotive engineering technicians (or those of relevant industry knowledge) who want to work in an advanced technical role, specialising in electric vehicles.  Participants gain the skills and knowledge to diagnose and repair faults in battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles and machines.

Paul says that he and his boss Jason realise that the electric boom is on its way and it is important to achieve certification for future regulation.

“It’s the best qualification you’re going to get in New Zealand and it also means we can continue as normal if EV high-voltage registration becomes a requirement.”

Paul, who is enrolled in the programme along with a colleague Dave Hewitt, says his “light bulb moment” regarding EVs came when a BMW EV came into the shop.

“I took it for a drive and I was actually stunned with the performance of it. For the two and a half years prior to that, if you’d asked me about an electric car, I would’ve said no way.”

“And then about six months later I drove another model around, which had an intermittent electric water pump fault and I found the performance blew me away. I’m a petrol head through and through, I love the sound of a loud engine, but the silence of an EV can also be quite nice.”

Putting his money where his mouth is, Paul bought his hybrid Mitsubishi vehicle just before the programme.

“Over the last six months we have had quite a few EV electric faults coming in to our workshop, so it’s just a steep learning curve. 

The year-long programme began in September last year. While it is mostly online, it also has tailored practical block courses held at EIT Te Pūkenga. Either way, Paul loves it all. “I loved learning. I was like a sponge. Going down there to go hands on for two days in the workshop, man, it was awesome. I loved that too.”

EIT | Te Pūkenga Computing lecturer Steve Main says, “Paul and I are cut from similar cloth where we have seen amazing technological progress in the industry. I really enjoy catching up with him and his peers online every Thursday evening.”

“Paul has been a model student. He is engaged and dedicated to his studies like many of the students we have on the programme. It’s fantastic to see employers like Collins Automotive supporting their staff and future proofing their business by investing in staff education and development.”

“The L5 National Certificate in Electric Vehicle is a brilliant programme which I thoroughly enjoy teaching on. I really value the students input as I learn from them as much as they learn from me.”

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Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air


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1 Comment

  1. Im auto Electriciam, now working matamata,I would like to learn hybrid & electric vehicles, plz send course details, fee, duration etc..

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