Wallace State unveils its first EV heavy duty truck for Diesel Technology program

Oct 17, 2023Gail Crutchfield
EV Truck Unveiling

Students in Wallace State's Diesel Technology and CDL programs pose with WSCC faculty, staff and guests at the unveiling of the Diesel Technology program's first EV truck, a Kenworth T680E purchased from Truckworx, and the first such truck purchased in the state of Alabama.

Hanceville, AL — During the unveiling of a new piece of equipment to be used in Wallace State Community College’s electric vehicle curriculum in the Diesel Technology program, President Dr. Vicki Karolewics noted the addition is part of the college’s continuing efforts to be proactive when it comes to providing learning opportunities for students.

“I’m often reminded of something that Tom Peters said a few years ago in his book, Re-Imagine!,” Karolewics said. “Tom’s book was focusing on the disruptions in the business world, and he said, if you are uncomfortable with the notion of change, think how much uncomfortable you’ll be with the notion of irrelevance. Here at Wallace State, we not only work constantly to change how we do things in order to maintain that relevance, with our partners, but we strive to be a pacesetter.”

To set that pace, Wallace State recently purchased from Truckworx a Kenworth T680E Class 8 heavy duty electric vehicle, the first sold in the state of Alabama.

“This will give our students the opportunity to see something that no one in the field has seen yet,” said Wyatt Swann, chair of the Wallace State Diesel Technology program.

The purchase was made with funds provided in a three-year, $1.3 million grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

“Over the timespan of the grant, Wallace State aims to provide comprehensive training to as many as 230 students in the safe handling and maintenance of high voltage vehicles and batteries,” said Associate Dean of Technologies Jerry Murcks. “The initiative encompasses both prospective technicians who will enroll in our programs and the upskilling of current technicians already working in the field.”

Students inspect truck

Wallace State Community College students inspect the new a Kenworth T680E purchased for the Diesel Technology program.

Truckworx representative Heith Pike noted the inevitability of the increase in electric vehicles in the trucking industry and the importance of having the technicians to keep trucks running.

“Electric is coming, and it is coming faster than we realize,” said Pike. “And as you know, over the road trucks keep America moving. But without good technicians the over the road trucks are not on the road.”

Pike added that Truckworx is extremely blessed to have a relationship with Wallace State and the Diesel Technology program.

“Wallace State has provided us with great technicians,” Pike said. “Almost every single location that Truckworx has a graduate from the Wallace State diesel program.”

Charging Stations Donation

Wallace State Community College accepts a $44,000 donation from Cullman Electric Cooperative made possible through the TVA Community Care Fund, which will be used to install two electric vehicle charging stations on the Hanceville campus.

Wallace State also accepted a $44,000 donation from the Cullman Electric Cooperative. Brian Lacy, the Co-Op’s Manager of Communication and External Affairs said the funds come the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Community Care Fund. The funds will be used to install two electric vehicle charging stations on the Wallace State campus.

“We are glad to help Wallace State add these facilities to their campus, and we appreciate the leadership that Dr. Karolewics and the staff at Wallace State Community College have shown in recognizing where this trend is heading in our industry,” Lacy said.

Along with guests from Cullman Electric Cooperative and Truckworx, representatives from Congressman Robert Aderholt’s office, the Cullman Economic Development Agency, TVA and the City of Hanceville were also on hand for the unveiling.

Wallace State offers electric vehicle related training in three areas. Along with Diesel Technology, students in Advanced Automotive Technology and a new Electrical Technology program under the umbrella of the Mechatronics, Electronics and Robotics Technology are offered electric vehicle related curriculum.

Registration for Fall 2023 Mini Term II is underway, with classes beginning Oct. 19. Priority registration for Spring 2024 is scheduled to begin Oct. 23, with registration for all students on Oct. 26. Spring 2024 classes begin Jan. 8. For more information, visit www.wallacestate.edu, call 256.352.8000 or come by Lion Central in the lobby of the James C. Bailey Center Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Media Contact

  • Kristen Holmes
  • Vice President for Students and Chief Marketing Officer
  • 256-352-8233

submit a Marketing request

Other Stories