The AA has commissioned and installed a training facility for hybrid vehicles to increase the number of vans and cars fixed by technicians at the roadside.
The unit is the first of its kind to be available commercially and is now located alongside the AA’s new customer experience centre in Oldbury, West Midlands.
Designed and built by automotive training equipment supplier AG Block Automotive, the rig simulates switchable ‘real world’ hybrid vehicle faults to replicate numerous potential breakdown situations for technicians. Modelled on a third-generation Toyota Prius, the unit also includes switchable faults on fuel, cooling, exhaust, ignition and CVT transmission, as well as other diagnostic functions.
Stuart Thomas, director of fleet and SME services at the AA, said: “There are now more than 16,000 hybrid vehicles registered in the UK, which is why we’re pleased to be one of the first to invest in the training our technicians need to fix more vehicles by the roadside. This means that our fleets can continue to provide a high level of service, irrespective of the type of vehicle that breaks down, and get our customers going again as quickly as possible.”
The training facility is based alongside the AA’s customer experience centre in Oldbury, West Midlands, which is open to new, existing and potential fleet customers.
Stuart continued: “Fleets need to be sure that we can keep their businesses running smoothly. By supporting the training of our staff, and investing in our customers’ experiences with the AA, we can continue to deliver an enhanced, superior level of service.”
Geoff Block at AG Block Automotive added: “Many people talk about hybrid and electric vehicle technology in the future tense, when it’s really happening now.
“Having been an AA supplier for more than 30 years, we were pleased to assist the AA in the development of its hybrid training rig. Offering full regeneration and the input of high-voltage faults within a training environment, the rig is now a world-leading resource that is already receiving significant interest from other training facilities across the UK.”