NAPA strives to narrow the EV tech training gap via tooling

NAPA strives to narrow the EV tech training gap via tooling

Recognizing that tooling is an issue in shops working on EVs, NAPA is introducing a full line of insulated hand tools.

EV sales are ramping up, with some estimates projecting electric vehicles representing as many as 40% of total passenger car sales by 2030. Shop owners around the country are taking note and are preparing their bays with all sorts of new equipment to service these vehicles, but it’s all for naught if their technicians aren’t trained to properly handle the task. Part of that training means understanding what tools are appropriate for ICE vehicles and which need to be used on EVs.

For Jake Sorensen, NAPA Auto Care technician, it’s simply a matter of safety.

“When you’re working on things like the suspension, steering work and other things like that, the tooling list is going to be the same as what any shop would already have. But, when we start working on inverters and motors and batteries, there’s a whole new line of tooling that we need to be safe and insulated,” Sorensen says. “Having the right safety equipment, the right tooling, and then, of course, technician training and knowledge, are the biggest parts of safety.”

Sorensen says that the NexDrive Powered by NAPA training program, which the company brought to the U.S. earlier this year, is a great place to start in getting technicians trained on best practices. Recognizing that tooling continues to be an issue in shops working on EVs, NAPA is also introducing Carlyle Insulated Hand Tools, which is the first full line of insulated hand tools available to EV technicians in the aftermarket, according to Susan Starnes, VP, emerging markets at NAPA.

“You’re going to find a lot of insulated tools out there, but are they really appropriate for the use? You really have to make sure that they’re rated to 1,000 volts,” Starnes says. “Occasionally, we’ll find pockets of some screwdrivers here and there, but we’re the only ones that currently have the whole line.”

Both Sorensen and Starnes addressed the evolving role of technicians in the context of EVs, emphasizing that understanding diagnostics and repair procedures is becoming increasingly crucial for technicians. As is the case with EVs, Starnes says ADAS calibrations will present a big learning curve for shops trying to get into that side of the business.

She noted that although EV and ADAS work are evolving separately in the marketplace, in some cases it could be advantageous for a shop to invest in both of these services.

“A lot of it really depends on the market you’re in. Obviously, with EVs, there are a lot of workshops that are saying, ‘This is coming. I see the opportunity. I could really gain some market share.’ A lot of people who have EVs also have an ICE vehicle, so they don’t want to go to two different workshops. So, you’ll get both when you get into that business too.”

You May Also Like

Gogoro partners with Copec on battery swapping

With Gogoro, Copec is developing a Latin American network of battery-swapping stations that it’s launching at Copec service stations.


Gogoro is partnering with Latin American energy company, Copec, to launch its battery swapping and smart scooters in Chile and Colombia in Q2 2024.

“Our partnership with Copec, a major Latin American energy company, is an important milestone in our mission to transform urban transportation around the world," Horace Luke, founder and CEO of Gogoro, said. "Together we will provide an accessible path for both consumer and delivery riders to adopt sustainable urban mobility and play a key role in battling climate change and making the world better for all."

Canoo expands EV fleet with Zeeba

The announcement is part of an existing agreement with Zeeba that awarded a total of 5,450 electric vehicles.

Denso works to improve the range of EVs in extreme temps

The collaboration with Betterfrost aims to develop a low-energy defrost and defog system for electric vehicles.

EV charging stations
Cold weather range loss and EVs: Separating fact from fiction

EVs are frequently criticized during colder months for the range loss they experience, but is this criticism valid?

Carrier Transicold launches all-electric refrigeration unit

Carrier Transicold said the unit provides nearly 40% more cooling capacity with greater efficiency than the unit it succeeds.


Other Posts

Switch EV Trainer designed to provide tailored EV technician training

The Switch EV Trainer includes all of the components of a modern EV drivetrain on a compact, insulated, mobile platform.

Recycled Rubber Coalition white paper examines EV impact on scrapped tires

The Coalition estimates there will be a 12% increase in the number of scrap tires that will be produced as drivers transition to EVs.

Chrysler Halcyon Concept is the company’s latest take on an autonomous EV

The company will launch its first battery-electric vehicle in 2025 and will feature an all-electric portfolio in 2028.

Allison Transmission selected as e-axle supplier by Oshkosh Corp.

The Allison eGen Power 100S was integrated into the McNeilus Volterra ZSL electric refuse vehicle, designed for the waste management industry.