The era of electric vehicles (EVs), including electric vehicles, is rapidly approaching. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s data on the total number of vehicles registered in Korea, in the first quarter of 2021, about 148,000 EVs and 12,000 hydrogen electric vehicles were registered. However, within a year, in the first quarter of 2022, EVs increased by 110,000 to 258,253, and hydrogen electric vehicles increased by 8,200 to 20,683.
One of the reasons for the rapid growth of electrified vehicles is the emergence of a variety of models. Attractive new cars are being launched in different sizes, hence electrified vehicles have become more accessible. As such, the faster the supply of electrified vehicles becomes, the more important the maintenance service will be. In particular, it is necessary to nurture maintenance personnel with expertise. As with all vehicle maintenance, training in electrified vehicles is essential.
In particular, in order to maintain EVs or hydrogen electric vehicles, it is necessary to understand their characteristics. In terms of automobiles, they look similar to internal combustion engines. Still, there is a big difference in that an electric motor and a high-voltage battery are mounted instead of the engine and transmission. For electrified vehicles, for example, the point at which the lift is fixed when raising the car body differs from that of the internal combustion to protect the battery. The scanners (diagnostic equipment) used for maintenance are also different. So, training is necessary to maintain electrified vehicles. For this reason, Hyundai Motor Company has launched the Hyundai Master Certification Program Electrified (HMCPe), a technology certification system for professional maintenance personnel for electrified vehicles.
Of course, even before the introduction of HMCPe, Hyundai continued to conduct electrified vehicle maintenance training. In the ‘Hyundai Master Certification Program (HMCP),’ the current technology certification system, specialized diagnostic techniques for electrified vehicles such as EVs, hydrogen electric vehicles, and hybrids were trained. HMCPe, which goes one step further, aims to expand the maintenance skills for electrified vehicles in preparation for the era of electrification.
So how does HMCPe work? Blue Hands engineers will complete courses such as ‘Electrified Vehicles Basic,’ ‘Advanced customer service for electrified vehicles,’ and ‘EV diagnosis training’ according to their competency. In the basic course, the participants will learn about safety technology and electrified vehicles’ overall functions and systems. In the advanced course, they learn about EV parts such as high-voltage batteries, motors and reducers, and EV charging and power conversion. It’s about having expanded knowledge to explain things to their customers smoothly. The EV diagnosis call training includes malfunction diagnosis and new technology practice for major EV systems based on the E-GMP platform, such as Hyundai IONIQ 5.
After the training, participants are required to take a test issued by Hyundai Motor Company. Upon passing, they will be given an ‘e-Technician’ or ‘e-Master.’ The e-Technician is granted to the engineers when it is possible to respond smoothly to customers by understanding the overall functions and systems of electrified vehicles. The e-Master is granted to engineers who can independently diagnose, perform high-level repairs, and perform high-tech work based on an understanding of all aspects of electrified vehicles.
Note that e-Masters can only be obtained by Grand Masters or Masters, the highest level in the current Hyundai Master Certification program. Hyundai Motor Company conducted a nationwide evaluation in March and granted the e-Master level to 2,032 Blue Hands engineers. In addition, they plan to actively promote the program so that more than 90% of Master engineers could also acquire the e-master this year.
HMCPe helps veteran engineers carry on their skills and know-how into the electrification era through specialized training. This will lead to a higher level of maintenance personnel as well as a higher level of service that can bring customer trust.
Blue Hands Samsong Hyundai Service, which has the 25th most EVs among Blue Hands in 1,300 locations across the country, showed the outcome. E-Master Min Kyung-Wook, who is in charge of maintenance of the Nexo, IONIQ 5, and Porter EV, talked about his impressions of HMCPe.
“It is never easy to combine work, study, and preparation for an assessment. However, I think it is absolutely necessary to prepare for the expanding electrified vehicle maintenance. Rather, systematic training and learning in new fields gave me confidence in not only improving my skills in maintaining electrified vehicles but also in responding to customers.”
Not only this. Hyundai is running a variety of training programs to nurture professional maintenance personnel for electrified vehicles. All Blue Hands employees in Jeju participated in the ‘Visiting Technical Education EV Diagnosis Course’ held in Jeju recently. In order for customers to conveniently receive professional EV maintenance services anywhere in the country, they directly visit engineers and conduct training. In this training, theoretical training on major EV systems and functions, safety accident prevention methods, etc., along with EV repair and diagnosis practices using the Kona EV and IONIQ 5, were conducted. The participants expressed their satisfaction with the training, saying, “Thanks to the practice-oriented training using real vehicles, every training skill will be immediately applicable to the field.”
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Company Hi-Tech Development Team 2 said, “17 out of a total of 18 Blue Hands in the Jeju area are dedicated to EVs. The ultimate goal is to secure customer trust in EVs.”
Hyundai plans to welcome EV and hydrogen electric vehicle customers through Blue Hands nationwide in line with the rapidly approaching era of electrified vehicles. At the end of 2021, 371 EV-dedicated locations out of 1,300 Blue Hands nationwide were operated. In particular, they plan to strengthen their maintenance capabilities by having at least two engineers who have passed HMCPe at each dedicated base. Finally, by 2025, EV maintenance will be possible at all Blue Hands nationwide. In addition, the number of Blue Hands dedicated to hydrogen electric vehicles will increase to 80 by adding 14 locations this year, and plans to expand to 200 locations by 2025.
As such, Hyundai Motor is continuously expanding its maintenance base as well as maintenance personnel to satisfy customers in the era of electrified vehicles. There is no need to worry about EV maintenance and maintenance/management now - Hyundai is preparing for the era of electrified vehicles in various ways for customer satisfaction.
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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