As more electric vehicles are being seen on Canberra's roads, a new industry is also expanding in order to keep them moving.
A growing number of apprentices are setting their sights on becoming electric vehicle mechanics.
The Canberra Institute of Technology has been setting up specialist courses to enable apprentices to be able to service the zero-emission vehicles and diagnose software issues. The courses also run alongside the more traditional mechanics courses for internal-combustion engines.
The growth of electric vehicles in the ACT has also led to many car dealerships sending over their staff for upskilling in order to meet the demand from environmentally conscious drivers.
CIT director of trade skills Fiona Dace-Lynn said they had noticed a surge in interest for people becoming an electric vehicle mechanic in the past 12 months.
"As we see more cars on the roads, we are seeing more students and more interest from the industry as well, and they need to be able to upskill and be ready for the industry," she said.
"It not only applies to light vehicles, but heavy vehicles, as well like electric buses, and also to anyone that works around vehicles like painters or panel beaters.
"Those are the areas we need to consider, but there's a lot of elements around electric vehicles to do with safety."
Work in the space at CIT had been under way for the past five years, but demand for electric vehicles due to government rebates and free registration has seen budding mechanics look to be part of a future industry.
In the last 12 months, the number of electric cars on Canberra roads has nearly doubled.
CIT's acting head of automotives Evan Street said while there were still some similar components of fixing an electric car compared with a petrol-engine model, the technology had prompted a shift in how the cars were examined.
"There is a lot more diagnosing of any software glitches and pinpointing what those issues are," he said. "In terms of physical changes we don't need a lot of tools or equipment, and you don't need to replace things like plugs or filters."
Second-year apprentice mechanic Emily Thornton said she had noticed fewer petrol engines in her courses in recent months.
"We now have a lot more electric vehicles being in class with us," he said.
"A lot of the time when you try and service an EV, the car will try and shut itself down, so you need to be careful."
Fellow apprentice Mathew Lovich said the safety aspect of learning how to service an electric car had a steep learning curve. "There's a lot more safety to it because there are a lot more parts that will kill you if you don't handle it correctly," he said.
"Electric cars come with their own problems and while they don't need oil for instance, they do need coolant for the battery and the battery may need to be changed."
Among those who could be taking their electric cars in for a service is Peter McNeil, who recently became the 1000th Canberran to have registered a zero-emissions vehicle in the ACT.
He said the decision to transition to his new Tesla had been a long time coming.
"Every time I get back into my old car, I realise how far the technology has come," he said. "I didn't want to buy another petrol car and so I decided on getting a Tesla."
However, fellow Canberran Karl Goiser was the first to register an EV in the ACT more than 10 years ago when he purchased his Mitsubishi i-MiEV. "It was unusual at first to see another electric car on the road, but now, thank goodness, I see one almost every time I drive in Canberra," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: