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University of Northwestern Ohio to Offer Hybrid EV Degree

With over 60 plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles on the market, a new degree program at the university will teach students about design controls and operating characteristics so they can do maintenance and repairs.

Disassembling an electric vehicle battery.
(TNS) — Starting in August, The University of Northwestern Ohio will offer a hybrid electric vehicle technology degree. Areas of instruction include design controls, operating characteristics of hybrid, hybrid-electric and electric-powered vehicles. A UNOH graduate will be able to perform maintenance, repair and inspect hybrid electric vehicles as well as gas vehicles.

Joe Croft from UNOH shared some statistics.

"Sales of electrified vehicles jumped 81 percent in the first quarter of 2021 from the fourth quarter of 2020," he said. "There's over 60 different plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles that are available to the consumer on the market that's growing every single month."

President Joe Biden's Executive Order 14057 mandates 50 percent electric vehicle sales in the entire U.S. by 2030, followed by a complete ban on all new internal-combustion engine powered vehicles by 2035.

Joe Williams, one of the three instructors spearheading the new hybrid electric vehicle program at UNOH, spoke to the Lima Noon Sertoma Club about electric, hybrid, and hybrid-electric vehicles. He explained the difference in vehicles.

"An electric vehicle is running purely off of battery power and that's how it propels down the road," Williams said. "When we talk about hybrids, generally we are talking about what is called a plug-in hybrid. So that's kind of a mix between both worlds. Now there's a lot of different ways they can be configured."

Electric vehicles need charged. Williams told the Sertoma Club that if you drive locally, your charge at home should be sufficient. It is when trips are planned further away from home that things need to be planned in more detail. Williams said, "A 120 charger charges too slow at a rate of four miles range per hour. A better option, but more costly, is to install a 240 charger that will charge your vehicle at about the 30 miles range per hour. There are level three chargers around when you take road trips that charge your electric vehicle up to about 80 percent capacity in less than an hour."

Williams discussed some of the myths that are associated with electric vehicles. Some have some truth to them while others do not. The first myth was that EV's don't pay their share of taxes. Williams responded, "We're not at the pump. We're not paying a gas tax. We are wearing down roads. The car is heavier than a traditional vehicle. How are we compensated for the wear and tear on the roads? To register for tags was $280 bucks, so they got all my money up front. There are some sources that claim over 10 years EV owners will actually pay more taxes and registration for the same amount of miles the internal combustion would pay on gas tax over the same 10 years."

Another myth is that batteries don't work in the winter.

"Batteries work really good when they're hot," Williams said. "They still work in the winter. The capacity does diminish a bit, sometimes up to 30 percent. So you may lose 30 percent of your range in cold weather."

Another myth is that the electrical grid cannot sustain a large number of EV's. Williams told the club this is a very real problem.

"That's the biggest problem with EV's. But again, there's ways to mitigate these problems," he said. "Off-peak hour charging at night using renewable sources to try to offset grid problems. But at the end of the day, that is going to be a problem. How are we going to handle the amount of EV's that are going to be put on the grid?"

Williams concluded his remarks saying there's room for both.

"Yes, EV's still have some problems, but 100 years ago so did the internal combustion engine," he said. "We would have looked back at those people saying, 'Oh no, that is so much more work, I'm gonna stick with my horse.' Yes, it's not perfect. But if you are a household that uses two vehicles and you want something to run around town and really save some money and do a little bit of planning, I definitely recommend it."

©2022 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.