Recent and proposed changes in emissions laws as they pertain to newly manufactured automobiles has prompted the auto industry to rethink it's focus on fuel economy. Though manufacturers have reacted to legislative changes by developing and promoting hybrid and fuel cell powered vehicles, very few car owners have made the switch. The expense of research and development in addition to revised manufacturing platforms has put environmentally friendly vehicles out of reach for the average consumer. Still, the writing is on the wall in terms of the automotive industries future regarding reduced emissions.
Despite the fact the low emission vehicles make up less than one percent of the nations overall vehicle ownership, many in the industry are preparing for eventuality of a market dominated by hybrid cars and trucks. Automotive technical schools, the institutions by which the mechanically inclined learn the skill sets and knowledge necessary for auto and diesel repair work, are already gearing up for the changes. In addition to teaching the intricacies of gas and diesel powered vehicles, several automotive technician schools are incorporating coursework that pertains to the specialized fuel systems and engine components of hybrid vehicles. Some are even offering entire programs based on the vehicles that have already been developed and are currently available on the market.
As with the information technology sector, educational institutions that offer automotive related programs must constantly keep abreast of trends in the industry as sweeping changes can happen seemingly overnight. Automotive technical schools are one of the few institutional entities that cater to modern technology and must keep their course offerings relative to the marketplace in order to adequately prepare graduates for what they will experience when employed. Unlike educational providers that offer IT curriculum, however, automotive technical schools are able to stay ahead of market driven changes as the average price of new vehicles keeps consumer spending relative to the age of technological advances.