As Singapore moves towards an EV future, these technicians are gearing up for change – CNA


And with EVs at the forefront of the nation’s push towards a greener future, Mr Isa is not the only one seeking to upgrade his skills. 

Automotive technical officer at Strides Mobility and self-proclaimed EV enthusiast, James Rayappan, will benefit from another MOU signed by LTA last month.

The MOU, signed with 21 organisations including Strides Mobility, will develop training opportunities for new and existing automotive technicians like Mr Rayappan to support the adoption of electric vehicles.

A new national-level certification programme will be established to recognise automotive technicians who have completed these courses and successfully attain the required competencies, said LTA. 

The certification, which is recognised by all the parties in the MOU, will allow technicians to subsequently take further specialised training in EV maintenance.

But even before training under the MOU takes off, Mr Rayappan, who celebrates his 20th year at Strides Mobility this month, is already sold on EVs. 

“EVs are very, very different. Last time, we (worked with) petrol and diesel. (But for EVs), it is different because no engine, fully electric. So I’m impressed because my hand also not dirty. EV is easier and cleaner to maintain,” the 41-year-old told CNA. 

Having worked on EVs for about a year, he also regularly scours social media for latest EV trends. He has also been sent for training in EV maintenance, as well as yearly courses to refresh his skills. 

Compared to “traditional engines”, there is “no need to do so many steps” to troubleshoot problems with EVs, said Mr Rayappan. 

“Now I want to learn something (new) for myself. If, let’s say, I don’t know something (about) the EV, I (will watch) YouTube (to see) how to repair… what is the fault, everything.”

When he heard that Strides was planning to change its taxi fleet to EVs, his interest was piqued. 

“I want to upgrade myself. So it’s not like the old (type of world anymore) … The world wants to change from gasoline to EV. I also want to change,” he said. 

Asked why he’s unafraid of taking on a new challenge to upgrade his skills, Mr Rayappan said it’s all about trying. 

“First of all, never do mistake, cannot learn. Must do mistake then can correct. If, let’s say, I’m scared, I (won’t be) sitting in front of you (to be interviewed). So that’s why, everything try.” 

Picking up EV skills is also a future-proof strategy to keep his job. 

“Nowadays, all the new (car) models, like Tesla, MG, cars from China, all electric. … (Technicians are) not technicians; they’re more like electricians,” he added.


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