GM ASEP Cranks Up the Voltage
Instructors Mark Hickman and Tim McCluskey are charged up about keeping their GM ASEP students fully versed in the latest alternative fuel technology. The program is looking into acquiring a 2011 Chevy Volt as a top-tech, hands-on learning tool. The Volt depends on electricity as its primary fuel.
“It takes about ten hours to charge a Volt with a standard one-twenty-volt line,” said McCluskey. “Four hours if you’re using a dedicated two-forty-volt line. You can go thirty-five miles on a single charge. Then a gas generator creates electricity for another three hundred and forty miles on a full tank of gas.”
Hickman noted that the Volt is the 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year and the Green Car Journal 2011 Green Car of the Year. “Our graduates need to understand the technology for safety reasons and to remain competitive in the workplace,” he said.
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Emissions Drive the Diesel Engine Industry
Ken Klassen, an instructor in the Heavy Duty Truck Technology program, reported that his students need to know anything and everything about emissions standards as related to on-road diesel truck engines.
“Our industry is subject to Tier 4 standards, which basically call for zero emissions,” Klassen said. “Our technicians have to be up to speed on the sophisticated electronics and sensors that monitor dosing injectors, particulate filters and fuel atomizers.”
One tool that is becoming indispensable to the technician is the laptop computer. Klassen noted that truck and engine manufacturers no longer publish hard copy service manuals. “Everything is online,” he said.
Klassen also pointed out another development in the industry. Cat is partnering with Navistar to deliver a first-ever line of Caterpillar-branded on-highway trucks. The Class 8 trucks have already hit the road in Australia and Brazil.