I saw this article from motor the other day and can’t help but agree. It goes without saying that the technician needs to be prepared for new technologies, including hybrids and other forms of green technologies as our country moves away from traditional fuels – however, I was wondering who, beyond the dealerships, is going to work on these vehicles?
The lack of specialized technicians for hybrid technologies creates a marketable opportunity for a technician to specialize in hybrids. Like claiming specializations in high end vehicles, no one questions your ability to work on the Caliber when you advertise specialties in hi-end luxury cars. If you become the hybrid car, no one questions your ability under the hood.
When I first saw the innards of a hybrid motor and transmission at the LA auto show last year it became rather clear – they turned engines, transmissions, and dif’s into a giant alternator – that’s it.
It really is that simple – once you break things down into their different components, the windings surrounding the rotating mass acting as a giant magnet, polarizing and creating a charge, bushings, diodes, and voltage regulators… that’s all there is.
Of course, you’ll need to study car specific training manuals to make sure you don’t cross a wire or two and fry a battery, but if you break the system down into components, you can begin to understand the technology and corner the market for hybrids in your area.
Furthermore, chances are battery changes are going to predominate hybrid work.
So next time you’ve got an alternator down – instead of sending the core back right away – take one apart, check out the components, see how the bushings look, check out the magnets on the shaft, try replacing a diode or two or the voltage regulator assembly – and maybe the practice will help you understand the technology for hybrids, perhaps cornering a market on what could be an emerging practice in automotive technology.
– William Ferreira