While the SMMT has predicted that up to 25% of new cars will come with a plug by the end of 2022, analysis by the IMI indicates just 11% of technicians in the UK are currently qualified to work safely on EVs.
According to the IMI, by 2030 the government’s Road to Zero target, there could be a shortfall of 25,100 qualified technicians and current forecasts predict that this shortage could materialise as soon as 2027, as sales of EVs accelerate.
IMI CEO Steve Nash is concerned that consumer confidence in EVs and the automotive sector will suffer when motorists struggle to find appropriately qualified technicians: “Of course, it is welcome news that the number of EV qualified technicians is growing, yet it is clear that the skilled EV workforce is not keeping up with sales of BEV, PHEV and HEV vehicles. Despite government’s positive commitments on charging infrastructure in last month’s EV strategic review, if the workforce is not quickly and efficiently up-skilled, we face the very real problem of lack of technicians available to keep EV’s on the road and able to use this enhanced network.”
While franchised dealers are committed to EV training, Steve warned that independents risk being left out, which risks restricted consumer choice: “If the government wants to meet its own decarbonisation targets it must be willing to bolster funding. No matter how impressive an EV infrastructure the UK might boast, the government must stop its ostrich like behaviour regarding the widening skills gap, pull its head firmly out of the sand and invest in a skilled workforce, or risk failing to meet its 2030 ambitions.”