State Grant to Fund ZEV Training Program

Published August 11, 2022

The CSULB College of Engineering has received a $500,000 grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to offer courses to train qualified engineers and technicians for the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) industry.

The grant calls for creation of a CSULB training center equipped with the latest technological devices for training engineers and technicians for ZEV, which include battery electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and methanol fuel cell electric vehicles.

Electrical Engineering Professor Henry Yeh will serve as principal investigator. Chemical Engineering Assistant Professor Yu Yang, Computer Engineering and Computer Science Assistant Professor Wenlu Zhang, and Electrical Engineering lecturers Saleh Al Jufout and Ali Sleiman will be participating in the program, which is expected to train 60 students in two cohorts, beginning in 2023.

The program is open to all, including veterans, members of underrepresented groups, existing students, and individuals without an engineering background. Up to four university employees will receive preparation to serve as trainers.

The program will include opportunities for hands-on experience. Each course will include one hour of seminar and three hours of lab time to allow participants to develop practical skills. 

New cohorts will start at the beginning of each calendar year. Certifications will be awarded after completion of five courses, two each offered during the spring and fall semesters and one during the summer session. In addition to an introduction to ZEV, courses will be offered in energy conversion and storage, electric vehicle fundamentals, electric vehicle motors and controllers, and vehicular networks and ZEV machine learning.

Vehicles and transportation fuels are the dominant sources of carbon emissions in California. The California Air Resources Board first adopted its ZEV requirement in 1990, setting California on a path toward ZEV commercialization with the resurgence of battery technology enabling auto manufacturers to offer consumers moderately priced ZEV.

The CSULB award is part of a $1.4 billion plan to help California achieve its 2025 electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling goals. In addition to ZEV training, the plan calls for the buildout of ZEV infrastructure in support of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035.

The CEC funding to develop alternative and renewable fuels and advance transportation technologies was made possible by state Assembly Bill 118.