After an almost decade-long legal dispute with Texas, Tesla is bringing its training program for electric vehicle technicians in the Lone Star State.
The electric carmaker is teaming up with Texas State Technical College to offer its START training program at the Waco campus. The first batch of START Program Technicians will begin training in March.
Texas is one of the largest electric vehicle markets in the US. According to local news outlet Statesman, there are around 21,000 Tesla cars running on Texan roads.
But despite the growing popularity of electric cars, the Texas government expressly prohibits Tesla and other automakers from selling their cars directly in the state. Interested buyers can still buy a Tesla, but they will have to make the transaction online and the vehicle must be shipped via a third party from California. Tesla does not have official stores in Texas, only showrooms. Tesla reps are not even allowed to mention prices or any information related to the buying process.
Most recently, Tesla lobbied against proposed legislation that prohibits it from repairing and servicing its own cars in the state. The particular clause prohibiting these activities were dropped, but Texas continues to put a foot down against car manufacturers directly selling their vehicles.
However, the electric vehicle market continues to grow and with that comes more demand for technicians specializing in EVs. One can only look at the experience of this Jaguar I-PACE buyer who spoke with Teslarati to share his lamentable experience with technicians who weren’t specifically trained in servicing electric cars to realize the importance of EV-specific training for car technicians.
So despite its restricted presence on Texan soil, Tesla is making sure it lays a solid foundation for the future of the EV market in the state by training a new generation of workers who know how to repair, service, and maintain electric cars.
How to apply for the START program
The goal of the START program is to provide students who want to work as EV service technicians with EV-centric skills. It’s a 12-week program that includes discussions of theory, hands-on training, and online-modules for self-paced learning.
Every week, students must meet certain objectives to qualify for graduation. It covers technical knowledge specific to the repair and maintenance of electric vehicles and soft skills training. Tesla hires each graduate at one of its more than 110 service centers across North America.
More than 300 students from various colleges in the US have gone on to become Tesla service technicians since the program was launched in April 2018. The latest batch of graduates completed the program in December last year at Miami Dade College.
Interested students may apply through the Tesla Careers page.