Students from the Arapahoe Community College (ACC) Automotive Service Technology program will collaborate with a team from Colorado School of Mines in the Battery Workforce Challenge (BattChallenge) competition.
BattChallenge, which launched in the fall of 2023 and will continue through the spring of 2026, charges university / technical school teams to design, build, test and integrate an advanced electric vehicle battery pack into a Stellantis vehicle. The program is an immersive hands-on learning experience for students to gain critical battery design and integration experience while developing engineering and technical skills beyond traditional engineering curriculum. A total of 12 university / technical school teams will collaborate to examine complex battery engineering and solve manufacturing challenges.
BattChallenge is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Stellantis, and is managed by Argonne National Laboratory. This partnership is building the next generation of engineers, technicians, and workers to address the unprecedented demand for a domestic electric vehicle / battery workforce. The DOE has set a bold target to address the climate crisis that puts our nation on a path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by 2050. BattChallenge seeks to build a highly skilled domestic workforce with the hands-on experience and knowledge needed for in-demand positions throughout the electric vehicle / battery industry.
The transition to electric mobility has spurred demand for a domestic electric vehicle battery workforce with the experience needed for in-demand positions throughout the battery supply chain. Building a domestic battery supply chain will require more than 230,000 jobs by 2030. DOE and Argonne are collaborating to meet this workforce demand. BattChallenge will help foster a diverse talent pipeline by building an educational ecosystem that delivers training and education for high school graduates, vocational and transitional workers, and technicians who can charge North America’s battery industry forward. The competition will integrate DEI initiatives throughout all aspects of this program with the goal of fostering a diverse team environment.
“We have a tremendous need for electric vehicle and battery technicians in the workforce," said Jake Tipsword, ACC Automotive Service Technology faculty. "The Battery Workforce Challenge gives our students the opportunity to design, build, test, and integrate an advanced electric vehicle battery pack into a Stellantis vehicle. This is an amazing hands-on learning experience for students who will become the electric vehicle and battery service technicians of tomorrow. We are proud to work with Colorado School of Mines on this exciting project."
Participating universities and technical schools will follow real-world industry milestones focused on battery design, simulation, controls development, testing, vehicle integration and demonstration. Students will gain immersive hands-on experience while learning valuable project management, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills in preparation for future careers throughout the electric vehicle / battery industry.
Furthermore, ACC was awarded a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Workforce Development grant earlier this year for over $80,000 to acquire and utilize state-of-the-art simulation equipment for the training and upskilling of up to 40 students and/or currently employed automotive service industry technicians. The ZEV training covers safety procedures, operations, and the diagnosis & servicing of electric vehicles. ACC was also named 2011 School of the Year by Tomorrow’s Technician magazine.
For more information about BattChallenge and the ACC Auto Tech program, please contact ACC Auto Tech faculty Jake Tipsword.