PERC Empowering Automotive Education

On December 14, 2023, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) hosted an enlightening webinar focusing on the Propane Autogas Vehicle Inspection Grant Program. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between automotive education and the growing demand for skilled technicians in the propane autogas industry. Let’s delve into the key takeaways from the webinar and how it seeks to revolutionize automotive education.

Expanding Service Centers and Opportunities

One of the primary discussions centered around the increasing need for service centers capable of handling propane autogas vehicles. As autogas fleets continue to grow, service centers have a golden opportunity to expand their business by catering to the unique needs of these vehicles. The webinar emphasized the potential for service centers to become key players in the dynamic arena of clean and sustainable transportation.

Propane Autogas Basics for Technicians

The webinar provided a comprehensive overview of propane autogas basics, emphasizing the importance of service technicians in performing vehicle inspections. Technicians were guided through understanding the components, systems, and the intricacies of propane autogas vehicles. The session highlighted the significance of technicians in recording and presenting inspection findings to customers, fostering transparency and trust.

In-Depth Look at Propane Autogas Fuel Systems

Attendees gained insights into the diverse types of propane autogas systems, including Bi-Fuel, Dedicated/Monofuel, and Dual Fuel setups. The discussion extended to cover various propane autogas fuel injection systems such as Vapor Sequential Injection (VSI), Liquid Fuel Injection, and Direct Fuel Injection. This knowledge equips technicians to handle a variety of vehicles, enhancing their expertise in the field.

Vehicle Inspection Protocols

The importance of regular vehicle inspections was stressed during the webinar, with a focus on driver responsibility and post-accident assessments. Proper documentation and reporting procedures were emphasized, ensuring that every detail is recorded accurately. The session also guided technicians on the ‘RIM’ approach — Recommended, Immediate, and Maintenance items, providing a structured method for addressing issues identified during inspections.

Propane Autogas Vehicle Inspection Grant Program

A major highlight of the webinar was the announcement of the Propane Autogas Vehicle Inspection Grant Program. This initiative offers educational institutions an opportunity to receive $7,500 in grant funds to enhance their automotive curriculum with a propane-specific focus. The program supports schools in incorporating a hands-on learning experience with autogas vehicles, preparing students for promising careers in the evolving automotive landscape.

Application Process and Important Dates

The application period for interested educational institutions will run from January 2 to March 29, 2024 and will give schools the chance to apply for the grant. Selections will be announced in April 2024, followed by a mandatory Train the Trainer class in the summer. The instructional period will span from summer to winter 2024, with final reports due by December 31, 2024.

Propane Advisors and Safety & Technical Training

The webinar also shed light on the crucial role of Propane Advisors, technical experts or industry members, in guiding instructors and students through the propane-specific curriculum. Safety and technical training resources were highlighted, emphasizing the importance of instructor tools and resources available to facilitate effective learning.

The PERC Propane Autogas Vehicle Inspection Grant Program webinar has set the stage for a transformative era in automotive education. By offering grants, resources, and a propane-specific curriculum, this initiative strives to prepare the next generation of automotive technicians for the challenges and opportunities presented by the rise of propane autogas vehicles. As the application period approaches, educational institutions have a unique chance to contribute to a cleaner, greener future in the automotive industry.

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