FITCHBURG, Wis. (May 13, 2014) — Automotive Research & Design (AR&D) is opening a dedicated aftermarket hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) training center in Fitchburg, scheduled to open May 15 with an exclusive one-day training event and reception.
The center will provide training to current and prospective members of AR&D partner The Hybrid Shop, an international network of dealers specializing in the maintenance and repair of hybrid vehicles. During the grand opening event, up to 30 participants will have a chance to test drive the facility and learn more about The Hybrid Shop model, AR&D said.
Dr. Mark Quarto, chief technical officer of AR&D, said the new facility is a means of closing the gap between OEMs and the aftermarket.
“This training center environment will be the first of its kind in the automotive aftermarket, to educate and train students by bridging the complex OEM hybrid and electric systems technology with innovative aftermarket diagnostic and service engineering solutions that are powered by AR&D,” he said.
The 6,500-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art facility is equipped to support 24 participants in an interactive classroom with an adjacent 4,000-sq.-ft. shop, AR&D said. The classroom was designed to provide a fully interactive environment, complete with interactive projection screen and tablet PCs at each participant's training station.
Training center students will have the ability to share files between computers, submit questions to the instructor and take quizzes in real time, AR&D said.
The dedicated shop area was built to support up to six vehicles for hands-on training purposes and features an array of equipment, such as OEM and aftermarket scan tools, thermal imaging cameras and AR&D's own HEV battery and electric transmission diagnostic and repair equipment kits.
The training schedule will feature a variety of course offerings, including the SAE International Advanced HEV Diagnostics Certificate of Competency (CoC), the first and only recognized industry HEV credential requiring four days of hands-on training with both practical and written proctored final exams on day five, according to AR&D.
“We have incorporated elements obtained by simply listening to the needs of educators, technicians, partners, and business owners to ensure we deliver the absolute best training and interactive learning environment possible,” said Chris Quarto, founder and CEO of AR&D.
A full schedule of courses offered, description of courses and registration information can be found on AR&D's website following the grand opening event.