Industry News

Hydrogen-powered horizons: Driving sustainability forward

By Christopher Greentree, industry innovation specialist, TAFE NSW

Over 130 years, the automotive industry has undergone remarkable transformations since Carl Benz introduced the first gasoline-powered vehicle in 1886. Innovations such as electronic ignition systems, electronic fuel injection and complex engine management systems have significantly enhanced vehicle performance, and lowered emissions.

Amidst this evolution, one group of professionals has played a crucial role in ensuring our safety on the road: automotive technicians. Automotive technicians work behind the scenes and are the unsung heroes of the automotive world. They are the skilled individuals who diagnose, repair, and maintain our vehicles, keeping them roadworthy and safe. Automotive technicians embark on a lifelong journey of learning to stay current with the rapidly changing industry.

Currently the automotive industry is in transformation, one that hums with electrons rather than combustible fuels. Electric mobility is no longer a distant dream; it’s our present reality. EVs silently weave through traffic, their batteries pulsing with stored energy. While electric vehicles have taken centre stage, hydrogen – the lightest element – holds the key to our energy future. It dances with electrons, powers fuel cells, and emits only water vapor. As the world pivots toward sustainable solutions, hydrogen steps into the spotlight.

The past decade has experienced rapid technological advancements, rendering traditional methods of training technicians inadequate. The industry now demands a radical shift in equipping future professionals. Skills and knowledge must be delivered “just in time”, necessitating an innovative approach that goes beyond conventional training methods.

TAFE NSW teacher Sam Jones, delivering EV training with a student at the Wetherill Park Transport Technology Centre. Image: TAFE NSW

To address this need, TAFE NSW has introduced a groundbreaking initiative: Hydrogen Microskills. These short, self-directed online courses are designed for those starting their journey to safely work with hydrogen. Whether you’re an engineer, technician, or simply curious about hydrogen as a transport fuel source, these Microskills enhance understanding and confidence. The key to the effectiveness of these Microskills is industry partnerships, which ensure that the courses are infused with real-world expertise and innovation.

When I walk through our automotive training centres, I see the faces of the next wave of automotive technicians. They’re not just acquiring knowledge; they’re shaping the future. They’ll learn to troubleshoot fuel cells, design hydrogen infrastructure, and work on systems that haven’t yet graced the drawing boards. By equipping them with these advanced skills, we are preparing them for rewarding careers and empowering them to contribute to a more sustainable future. These students will become the new generation of technicians, adept at navigating the complexities of electric mobility and passionate about driving positive change.

TAFE NSW plays a vital role in creating a skilled workforce capable of driving change in electric mobility, shaping the future of transportation. As we embrace the electrifying era of electric vehicles, let us recognise the vital role that training organisations play in driving innovation and shaping a brighter, more sustainable future for all.

If you want to understand more about hydrogen as a transport fuel source, you can upskill online, on-demand in less than 2 hours – enrol in the TAFE NSW Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Training program here.


The post Hydrogen-powered horizons: Driving sustainability forward appeared first on Big Rigs.

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