UK runs the risk of an EV technician shortage

  • The UK’s Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has warned that EV training for mechanics must not slow, despite the possibility of the 2030 ICE ban being pushed back.
  • Number of recently qualified EV technicians decreased in the same period of 2023 compared to 2022.
  • The IMI estimates that over 100,000 EV mechanics will be needed by 2030, regardless of the status of the petrol and diesel ban.

The IMI asks for more EV technicians

The UK’s IMI has warned that newly-trained EV technicians are in short supply, and will become even harder to come by in the coming years, as the number of electric cars on the UK’s streets grows. This shortage comes at a critical time, as the country gets ever closer to a planned 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

The IMI’s figures show that 42,400 technicians were given EV-specific training in the first quarter of 2021. This figure may seem sizable, but it makes up just 18% of the total number of technicians trained. Additionally, this figure is also down 10% compared to the same quarter last year. The organisation also estimates that the country will need 107,000 EV-qualified technicians by 2030 in order to adequately maintain the growing number of electric cars on the road.

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Why is there a shortfall?

There are a number of reasons the IMI suspects this figure may have dropped despite the increasing popularity of EVs. Primarily, it suspects that with employers strapped for cash in the current economic situation, some are putting training on the back burner and spending their money elsewhere. Also, the average age of a UK car is hitting record highs. As cars get older and spend more time in the garage, mechanics are taking up time which would otherwise be used for retraining onto EVs.

With rumours from the government in recent days that it may push back the 2030 deadline, Steve Nash, the CEO of the IMI, has stressed that this should not be seen as a signal to take the brakes off of EV mechanic training. This point is pertinent to the wider charging infrastructure too, if the country still wants to hit its goal of 300,000 public chargepoints by 2030.

“If the government acknowledges its miscalculation and moves the deadline it is absolutely crucial that this is NOT seen as a ‘free pass’ to delay investment in infrastructure and training. Our latest data already shows that we are already behind the trajectory needed to have an automotive aftermarket workforce EV-ready.”

Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)

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