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One in 10 fully qualified electric car hybrid mechanics in the UK are trained by Halfords Autocentres

Following a major training programme to upskill technicians and future-proof its services, Halfords Autocentres today hits a new milestone where it now offers electric and hybrid auto repair at each of its 316 centres across the UK, making it the most technically capable auto repair business in the country.

The news comes just days ahead of the publication of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill which may result in hybrid electric vehicle qualification being made a requirement for operating on ultra-low emission vehicles.

The Government announced the ban on the sale of any new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2040 in a bid to clean up Britain’s air quality. This will involve gradual, but huge changes for motorists and industry alike. And Halfords Autocentres is preparing early for these changes.

Backed by new government policies, the sales and registrations of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) have grown by more than 1,800% since 2011. There has also been an increase in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid models available in the UK, with most manufacturers now offering an electric car in their ranges.

Specialised training for EVs is essential because electric cars can contain circuits running at up to three times the 230 volts found in the mains supply, posing a risk of electrocution and fire unless properly handled.

Leading the way in electric and hybrid car repair, Halfords Autocentres has been training technicians to develop the skills needed to service and maintain low carbon vehicles. All Halfords Autocentres technicians are required to complete an initial training needs analysis before undergoing full technical training.

According to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) there are approximately 180,000 plus car mechanics in the UK and only 6% are qualified to work on electric hybrid vehicles. Just 1% of technicians are trained to work safely on high-voltage technology in the UK and 10% of those who are Level II qualified, are Halfords Autocentres technicians.

Following a successful pilot scheme, Halfords Autocentres now has at least one technician trained to IMI Level 2 Award in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Operation and Maintenance (VRQ) at every centre. To date, the business has run sixty - five courses with a 99.5% pass rate.

Andy Turbefield, Head of Quality and Training at Halfords Autocentres said: “It’s important to recognise that it’s a real time for change in the automotive industry and an exciting time for innovation – and this needs to be fully supported by a solid automotive maintenance offering. 

“We want our technicians to be the very best in the business, that’s why we are committed to offering cutting-edge training to make sure we can meet our customers’ expectations.

We’ve hit a fantastic milestone as electric and hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular and with the introduction of driverless cars just around the corner, it’s important that we’re ready for the future.”

Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry said: “Halfords Autocentres is well ahead of the game when it comes to technical capabilities and it is great to see that it’s set the bar high by throwing its weight behind the growth of new vehicle technology.

The EV revolution isn’t just about cars; without properly qualified technicians, the Government will struggle to fulfil its ambitions to be a leading player in new vehicle technology and its businesses like Halfords Autocentres that will really help bring this ambition to life”.

For more information please contact Halfords@z-pr.com or call 020 7287 5006.