The Pierce College Auto Tech Department

Kevin Reynolds

The Pierce College Auto Tech Department has been making strives to keep with the times and educate students to work with new alternative fuel vehicles.

In the automotive fabrication class they have converted a 1974 Volkswagon  Bug into an electric car.

The students and teachers removed the original gas motor and replaced it with an in-class manufactured motor. There are nine batteries now powering the old classic.

Next they plan on converting a Scion XP into an electric car, according to Tom Rosdahl instructor of automotive service tech and faculty advisor.

They have also received two new Norwegian Kewet electric vehicles that were donated to the department.

They have also purchased two new alternative fuel Hondas, a Civic CNG natural gas vehicle and a Civic hybrid.

Both new vehicles will be used in the new Hybrid vehicle service and safety class and Intro to alternative fuels.

The Auto Tech department has recently become an official Snap-on Certification Center. The first certification courses will be offered in March.

The school now gets a 50 percent discount on all Snap-on products. The Automotive department used federal grant money to purchase $200-thousand worth of Snap-on equipment for training purposes.

“The most popular new course is the Solus training course,” said Tom Fortune Chairman of Industrial Technology. “Of course the most important pre-existing course is still the AST 1 engines course.”

The Solus pro is a scan tool for diagnostic checks on engine systems. It is the most common scan tool found in auto repair shops, according to Rosdahl.

Pierce will also provide training on the Modis Pro and Verus scan tools which are the more expensive and advanced models.

“This is one of the best automotive departments in L.A.,” said Kenny Leavitt a 29-year-old automotive major and campus book store employee. “It’s really given me opportunities and the Snap-on discount is great.”

An estimated $18-million will be spent as part of the construction on campus for a 20-thousand square foot addition and repairs and re-modeling of the existing building.

There will be three new labs, an alternative fuel lab, emissions lab, and a hybrid electric cars lab according to Rosdahl.

The new proposed building plans go along with the plans to alter the roadways on campus.

The plans are for the building to be located across Mason from the existing building with the blocked off part of the street becoming a new driveway between buildings.

Classes in the department are still filling up quickly.

“My advise to student’s interested is sign up early show up the first day and don’t be late,” said Fortune.

Two of four electric cars Pierce College has in its possession on Monday Feb. 28, 2011. Car to the left is a Prototype for a bigger more powerful electric car (Jose Romero 2011)

Instructional Aid Manuel Garcia points out electric batteries on a Red 1977 Volkswagen that Pierce College students have converted into an electric Green Technology vehicle (Jose Romero 2011)

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