SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Southern Maine Community College is launching the state's first electric vehicle program that trains workers to diagnose and repair problems on electric and hybrid vehicles.
The class is designed for technicians who already work at auto repair shops and auto dealers. The first class, which is full, is being offered this month.
Ruth Morrison, SMCC's Automotive Technology program chair, said there's a shortage of mechanics trained to deal with electric car problems.
"The lack of trained technicians is about to become an international crisis," Morrison said. "There are a lot of electric and hybrid vehicles being produced, and we don't have enough people who know how to work on them."
For the class, students take a hands-on, week-long course in SMCC's Automotive Technology Center after first completing 32 hours of online instruction.