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Automotive program now includes electric car education

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) – Parkland College’s automotive program now allows students the chance to study one part of the business that is rapidly growing. It all revolves around electric vehicles.

The program recently purchased a Mustang Mach E electric SUV. It’s different from your typical Mustang. It is bigger, includes two drive motors, has all-wheel drive and a battery between the two motors. Plus, it is fully electric.

David Charney, the director and an instructor with the Ford Asset program at Parkland, said that there is a lot to learn and understand about these cars.

Each day, students complete tasks such as diagnosing vehicle problems, taking cars apart and putting them back together, and reading and writing so they understand how the components work together.

This Ford Asset program gives students opportunities outside of the classroom in Ford dealerships. They go through 8-week rotations with various technicians and mechanics at the dealership they are assigned.

In fact, Charney thinks as Ford produces more electric vehicles, it could even put teaching opportunities in the hands of students.

“It’s gonna push old and young technicians to learn this. They don’t have a choice. The older technicians don’t have a choice; they’re going to have to get on board quickly, ”he said.

Charney also said there is a tremendous shortage in technicians now. He added that Ford is currently hiring 17,000 technicians to help work on fully electric cars.

He said it’s more important now than ever that these students are preparing to enter the automotive industry; he is eager to see his students fill these roles.

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