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Albert Einstein said that if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t know it well enough.
For automotive shops wanting to enter the changing world of electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) repair, Craig Van Batenburg has been working, learning and teaching about automotive repair and shop management since 1977.
Expert Craig Van Batenburg began working on cars in high school. His first car taught him a great lesson in making sure you know what you’re doing. The black 1963 Ford Falcon, purchased while on blocks, was his for $50 if he could finish the brake job and put the wheels back on. He drove the car home. His interest and skills have grown exponentially from there.
Craig started running an automotive repair shop in 1977, focused on cars manufactured by Toyota and Honda. Over 40-plus years, Craig has seen huge changes in automotive design, construction and material makeup. His move to HEV and EV repair and training was triggered by the market’s high demand for experts.
The HEV/EV difference
From the driver’s seat, HEV and EV owners struggle with the same challenges as do full gasoline-powered vehicle owners. Concerns about efficiency, performance and safety are common to all drivers, no matter the power source. But for automotive repair professionals, the challenges of HEV and EV repair include potentially dangerous working conditions.
Automotive repair technicians are trained to safely handle the maintenance and repair of gasoline-powered vehicles. However, maintaining HEVs and EVs requires techs to master the high voltage safety aspect of these new designs. Education is the key here.
Additionally, as HEVs and EVs age, they will need battery updates and/or repairs. Even if the battery isn’t in need of repair or replacement, other aspects of the vehicle may be under stresses more extreme than what’s found in gasoline-powered cars. HEVs are 20 to 30 percent heavier than their gasoline-powered counterparts.
Craig’s goal is to provide quality training to automotive technicians looking to expand into the HEV and EV market. His repair classes take place in state-of-the-art repair shops around the country. In addition to offering classes in the best facilities, he has written a textbook tied to his classroom training.
While his electric car fleet comprises thirteen vehicles, including a Nissan LEAF®, a Chevy Volt and a Chevy Bolt EV, his current favorite mode of transport is his 2000 Honda Insight Hybrid.
Craig’s knowledge and expertise with HEVs and EVs is known worldwide, and with Craig’s help, we can educate the world on the importance of HEV maintenance. Albert Einstein would be proud.