ChargerHelp and SAE Partner with Detroit to Certifity EVSE Technicians

SAE and ChargerHelp Detroit Event Graduates
Credit: Michigan Central


We have a slight problem with the rollout of our charging infrastructure. The stations are appearing in more and more destinations, which is great news for the transition to sustainable mobility. The issue, many EV drivers are reporting that when they go to charge their vehicle, there are issues with the hardware. Or maybe it's the software. In a world where putting gas into a vehicle has for decades been an easy trouble-free occurrence, the move to on-the-go charging has been fraught with issues surrounding reliability. 

There is no shortage of stories from EV drivers about pulling up to a charging destination only to find out-of-order signs or worse, plugging into multiple stations only to find that none of them will actually charge their vehicle. In frustration, they pull away and hope for better luck down the road. These stations are the backbone of the electrification future. Without them working properly, EV adoption will slow. Fortunately, SAE, ChargerHelp, and Detroit at Work have partnered up to train EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) technicians. In February, the joint venture's first class of techs graduated. 

This event marks the first of many that SAE and ChargerHelp hope will become the norm as it rolls out certification nationwide. The graduating class completed the four-to-six-week program of 120 hours of coursework and will soon take a standardized test administered by SAE ITC Probitas. The exam will be available beginning in April 2024. 

The industry-verified certification was created via a partnership with leading EV charging equipment providers. The companies that build the charging stations out in the world. Those who complete the coursework and take the exam to become an EVSE technician with the knowledge to maintain the charging stations that are installed around the country. 

The National Renewable Energy Lab recently estimated that to meet the charging needs of 2030, about 1.2 million charging units will need to be available to the public ( That's in addition to home charging. That's 1.2 million pieces of hardware that will require maintenance from a trained workforce that currently does not exist. 

Meanwhile, the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study, showed that "20 percent of all users say they visited a charger but did not charge their vehicle." That's far below the 97 percent uptime required by the government to subsidize the rollout of charging stations by charging companies. 

With more charging stations on the way and an uptime goal that far exceeds what EV drivers are currently experiencing out in the world, the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Technician Certification is more important than ever. 

At the event in Detroit, Frank Menchaca, president of SAE Sustainable Mobility Solutions told those in attendance, "We have a responsibility to leave a better world to the generations that are coming up. Those are the generations that also that have to have skills and awareness and knowledge to be able to work, maintain and extend this zero-emission world."

Menchaca continued, "I think it's really important that we think about this certification training, we hope this is step number one in a scaffolding career where people can come in from nontraditional backgrounds, and learn this and take it to the next step."
The entire sustainable ecosystem will generate millions of jobs over the next few decades and all those new employment opportunities will require training and certification that may not currently be available via traditional educational paths. 

To help jumpstart the adoption of the certification and expand training, SAE is offering up the book of knowledge it has compiled with the help of subject matter experts in the field. Trade schools, colleges, automotive OEM, and other educational facilities can use the document to provide guidance for curriculum that helps train individuals to take the certification exam. 

ChargerHelp for its part, is deploying technicians to maintain the current and future charging stations. The partnership is twofold. It creates good jobs that will only see growth and it gives charging stations the ability to meet government mandates with increased station uptime. The happy result of that, a charging infrastructure that feels as seamless for EV drivers. 

Building out the future can be difficult. Done right, and that difficulty shouldn't be placed on those driving the vehicles of the future. 

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