National Institute for Automotive Excellence
Ase Ev 6452a0b21947c

ASE unveils new EV standards, testing, and certification

May 4, 2023
To minimize exposure to the hazards and impacts inherent in working on electric vehicles, ASE's new standards and EV testing include extensive information on protection and awareness for those at many professional levels.

As automotive and commercial vehicle servicers prepare for more electric vehicles in the shop in the coming years, the National Institute for Automotive Service (ASE) has created Electric Vehicle Technician/Shop Personnel Electrical Safety Standards. These standards will provide guidance and documentation as well as establish electrical safety requirements, standards, procedures, and safe work practices relating to the development of an electrically safe working area for service professionals in North America working on or around EVs. These standards were developed in conjunction with vehicle manufacturers, aftermarket personnel and other electric industry subject matter experts, the nonprofit stated.

“Technicians and service personnel must be properly trained to perform EV service and repairs,” ASE president Tim Zilke said. “With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, ASE has taken a proactive approach to support shops as they encounter more hybrid and EV repair opportunities. The new ASE EV testing and certification program was developed in conjunction with industry experts to help ensure that service professionals are well prepared to safely and effectively service these technologically advanced vehicles.”

Read more: Taking the fear out of ASE testing

These standards include coverage on the risks associated with electric vehicle repair, how to help someone injured due to high voltage, various protective equipment, the training necessary to establish a safe workspace, how to handle high-voltage batteries and de-energize electric systems, and what types of testing instruments and equipment should be on hand, as well as their inspection and usage.

Beyond the EV Standards, ASE has developed a new testing and certification program for all EVs, including light-duty and medium-/heavy-duty hybrid/electric vehicles (EV) based on these standards. The program provides two options to certify shop owners and their employees based on their involvement with EVs and are in pilot testing.

There will be Level One and Two tests available.

EV Electrical Safety Awareness Certification (Level One)

This certification is designed for anyone who may encounter an EV in the workplace. This includes identifying individuals who perform tasks in proximity of electric powered vehicles in sales, service, repair, and related environments. Level One individuals require high-voltage electrical safety awareness to identify the hazards and reduce the associated risks when working on or near electric vehicles (xEVs) and near high-voltage components of electric powered vehicles.

Skills performed by Level One individuals may include: operating (driving) an electric powered vehicle; performing maintenance and repairs not related to high-voltage systems or their components; handling non-high-voltage components of electric powered vehicles; and encountering electric powered vehicles and/or high-voltage components of electric powered vehicles while performing job-related tasks.

Read more: Building brainier batteries

Meanwhile, the exam will test applicants on their knowledge of electrically-safe work practices, including the risks associated, aiding injured persons, and interpreting safety barriers and signage; as well as establishing safe working conditions and practices. These latter sections will assess the applicant’s knowledge of safety concepts, their proficiency in general electrical safety, and their knowledge in emergency response training and first aid. As well as this, the exam will generally cover SAE standards for wiring and cabling as well as high-voltage lithium-ion batteries and systems, as well as de-energizing procedures and terms such as ‘lockout’ and ‘tagout.’ These terms refer to ensuring that systems are fully de-energized and safe to use before technicians begin work on them.

EV Technician Electrical Safety Certification (Level Two)

This certification is for service professionals, technicians, or specialists who have received high-voltage electrical training; have demonstrated skills and knowledge related to the construction, operation and repair of electrically powered high-voltage vehicles; maintain an electrically safe working area; and use required personal protective equipment (PPE). They have also received safety training to identify the hazards and reduce the associated risk.

Skills performed by Level Two repair professionals may include: evaluating and classifying the condition of the high-voltage battery and high-voltage electrical system; isolating the voltage from the high-voltage systems and checking the isolation from the supply; securing the high-voltage system against being activated; re-starting the high voltage system; performing general work on de-energized high-voltage systems and components; and assessing the risk of high-voltage vehicles that were involved in an accident.

The certification process for Level Two individuals is more intensive and covers more of the specific materials outlined in the original standards. These include awareness of the skills in Level One testing as well as details on personal protection equipment, greater detail on de-energizing procedures and standards, and the proper testing instruments needed for electric vehicle applications.

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