Vancouver Community College students get lesson in clean tech

Vancouver Community College students learn about an electric excavator

Vancouver Community College (VCC) has expanded its fleet of electric machinery used for training and education to keep pace with the growing demand for clean technology.

Students in VCC’s Heavy Mechanical Trades program will receive hands-on training to maintain and repair the Volvo ECR25, a compact excavator that is 100 per cent electric.

“The Volvo ECR25 electric compact excavator will serve as an essential educational tool for students in the Heavy Mechanical Trades program at VCC,” said Lucy Griffith, acting dean of the VCC School of Trades, Technology and Design.

The electric excavator was purchased from Volvo CE dealer Great West Equipment. The machine will enable hands-on training in the operation, repair and maintenance of battery-electric equipment, providing them with valuable, real-world experience in the newest technologies in heavy mechanical trades.

“The use of electric excavators is becoming increasingly common, and this acquisition will give students a competitive advantage in the job market,” Griffith said.

As part of its Strategic Innovation Plan, the college is committed to developing sustainability initiatives that support climate action. The college already has an electric forklift and the Toyota Mirai – one of the first hydrogen vehicles available in Canada.

“With the recent acquisition of the Volvo ECR25 electric, Vancouver Community College has demonstrated their support and commitment to develop a curriculum that will pave the way for clean energy education,” said Ben Goodarzi, corporate service manager at Great West Equipment. “By preparing students with the latest training and technological advancements, VCC is developing the technicians of tomorrow and leading the way to a more sustainable future.”

Training for zero emissions future

British Columbia is aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and is working with various to move towards cleaner technologies.

With one of the largest working student garages in the province, it was important for Vancouver Community College to move towards technologies that benefit students in the program and align with government and industry initiatives.

“Obtaining the Volvo ECR25 electric compact excavator is not only in line with the college’s larger vision of moving towards clean energy and sustainable technologies, but it is also future-proofing our students for the in-demand jobs of a rapidly evolving industry,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president and CEO.

“All skilled trades, especially heavy-duty equipment technicians, are in high demand in the province. Ensuring VCC students are trained on the latest technology will set them up for success as they launch their careers in the industry.”