Hybrid Automotive Training Program

Hybrid Automotive Training Program


I’m with Mike Carretta, Associate Professor
of Automotive Technology, and as you can see we are not behind a desk today. That is a
good thing. I like to get out of the office once and a while. We are the Guldesky Center’s
Automotive Lab, and in a couple of minutes Mike will be teaching a Hybrid Electric Vehicle
course. And I guess to start off for us mechanical novices, tell me a little bit about what a
hybrid actually is.>>A hybrid electric vehicle is a vehicle
that has two means of propelling the car down the road. It has a internal combustion engine
whether it be a diesel or gasoline engine. And then it has an electric motor powered
by a battery that can also propel it down the road.
>>So the students that come here to take the HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle course – what
types of folks are you seeing here? You’re not talking about just the person like me
that doesn’t know much about cars that’s going to come in here and take the course. Who’s
in your class tonight?>>We’re getting people who are out in the
industry working on the vehicles currently. We’re getting a lot of people that work on
fleet vehicles that have these in their fleet. County – we’ve got some DC Public Work students
coming in today and from other county organizations that have them in their fleet. And these technicians
need to learn how to work on them. Because even though they still have an internal combustion
engine, they are still quite different than just a typical car. And they need to know
the differences between those.>>Okay. So they are in a sense mechanics.
>>Correct.>>Talk a little bit about – we are discussing
earlier off camera about the progression. You said you were working in high school in
’87 you were work on cars.>>Yeah. Right.
>>Talk a little bit about the progression and actually where the vehicle world stands
today.>>Well, when I started working on cars in
1987, you know, fuel injection was still kind of in its infancy and, you know, we were just
kind of getting into the electronics, moving away from carburetors into fuel injection.
So it was kind of a little bit easier back then. Maybe had one or two computers that
had to manager all the, you know, electronics on the car. Where nowadays you can have 5
to 25 computers on a car managing, you know, all the systems on the car nowadays. Trans
controllers, body controllers, engine controllers, you know. You know, memory seat heater controllers
that control the seats, the power seats, and the mirrors and the windows that tie all that
stuff together. So, they’re very complicated nowadays.
>>And there is – you were telling me again a little bit off camera. There’s a difference
between the hybrid electric vehicle. And then there’s another car behind me. Tell us a little
bit about the intricate difference between these vehicles that you guys are going to
be working on in a little while.>>Right. Well the hybrid electric vehicle,
like I said, has the two means of propelling it. Either battery operated or by the internal
combustion engine and a pure electric vehicle like the Nissan LEAF that we have right here
behind you is strictly electric. So you’d have to plug it in.
>>Literally plug it in?>>Yeah. You literally plug it in usually
when you get home. If they have a plug-in station maybe somewhere where you work. May
be they have something like that. So that’s the main differences. A pure electric vehicle
just has one means of propelling the car down the road where the hybrid have two. So when
the battery gets low in your Prius, then the internal combustion engine will kick on and
can drive the car down the road and, you know, recharge the battery while it’s driving or
while it’s breaking.>>Okay. And the course itself it’s not – this
is a short course. And just tell us about how long the course is and what you’re going
to kind of receive when you finish the course.>>Right. We do it over the course of three
consecutive evenings. Well, three weeks. We do it on Mondays. So we do one Monday and
then, you know, two after that. And it’s four hours each so it’s 12 hours total. And this
is just a very basic class. I mean we kind of just scratch the surface onto what these
vehicles are about. And it’s just like I said. Just kind of pointing out the difference between
a hybrid and a regular car. I mean, you know, for example, on this hybrid here, you know,
if you’re sitting in a traffic light the engine will cut off. Well, if it’s the summer time
and it’s 100 degrees outside where am I going to get an air conditioning [background discussion]
from? Right?>>Right.
>>So the AC compressor also has to be driven electrically. And the other thing is electric
power steering and just electric water pumps. So there are some differences between the
two, and that’s kind of what we go over in the class. And then we have a hybrid transmission
we take apart so the students can take a look at the electric motors that are inside of
it. And then on our final day we go over battery safety, and just, you know, working on these
things because it’s high voltage here. Three hundred volts–
>>Wow.>>–if it hits you right, it can kill you.
>>Okay.>>So we go over safety with them. And then
we have them take them out in the parking lot. And we hook scan tools up to them and
let them drive them around so we can see what the motor gear one is doing. Motor gear two
is doing and things like that. So they kind of understand, you know, where the power flow
is coming from. Is it coming from the engine? Is it coming from one of the motors? Is it
recharging? You know, what’s taking place inside of there? And we can look at that with
our scan tools that we have here at the school.>>And when you’re done with the 12 hours
you get a Workforce Development and Continuing Education Certificate.
>>Correct.>>And a lot of folks are actually doing that
from the public sector.>>Hmhm.
>>And doing it for their jobs to get that certificate. So I think that’s about all the
time we have today, Mike. I want to thank you–
>>No problem.>>–for letting us some in here into this
good garage and getting me away from my desk [laughter]. So I appreciate that. For “Campus
Conversations,” I’m Marcus Rosano. ^M00:15:15
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