German Government Warns Of Massive Job Loss Due To Electric Cars

JUN 21 2018 BY MARK KANE 54

Progressing electrification is expected to cause massive job losses in Germany.

Assuming that all-electric and hybrid cars will take respectively 25% and 15% of production by 2030, some 75,000 jobs could be lost in the German automotive industry. Higher plug-in adoption would cut more than 100,000 jobs.

The reason behind such expectations are simpler production of plug-in cars compared to gasoline or diesel cars, as they have only a fraction of parts and a quicker assembly process (by around 30%).

The EV powertrain utilizes apparently only about one-sixth of the components of an ICE powertrain. Battery production will require only a fifth of the workforce, when compared with an engine plant (per set, we believe).

Currently, the automotive industry employees some 840,000 people – including 210,000 in powertrain production where the cuts (engine and transmissions) will be highest. Some new production of power electronics and battery assembly will not offset the difference.

Germany’s trade union IG Metall warned:

“By 2030 every second job in passenger car powertrain will be impacted directly or indirectly by electromobility,”

“Politicians and industry now need to develop strategies to manage this transformation,” said IG Metall’s chief, Joerg Hofmann.”

Source: Reuters

Categories: BMW, Daimler, Mercedes

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54 Comments on "German Government Warns Of Massive Job Loss Due To Electric Cars"

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DamoclesAxe

Maybe if German car manufacturers had spent those $100 billion investments into battery factories in **Germany** instead of China – they would not be loosing jobs!

Don Zenga

+1.

dan

Does it take that much more effort to read the article before making stupid comments? Battery manufacturing is less labor intensive by about 80%. That is the reason for the losses.

philip d

I don’t think they are counting battery manufacturing. From the quote in the article the 80% less is battery assembly.

“Some new production of power electronics and battery assembly will not offset the difference.”

Of course manufacturing the cells as well won’t make the difference up but it would help.

John

Are you stupid? Do you know why also Tesla wants to manufacture in China?

Pushmi-Pullyu

China is a separate market, intentionally so by Chinese policy. Cars made in China are unlikely to be sold outside China.

Your comment is the one which is uninformed, sir.

Dimitrij

“Cars made in China are unlikely to be sold outside China”

In 2017, China exported $60bn worth of vehicles. If we assume only $10bn were passenger cars as opposed to buses, trucks and such, that’s already around a million cars.

Dav8or

How naive. Cars are being exported from China to here and Europe right now. This trend is sure to expand and grow as most manufacturers design and produce “global” cars suitable for all markets. Thinks about it for a second. Why not build cars in China and export them here, or Europe, just like every other consumer product there is?

Unless politicians step in with pressure from constituents, there will be big layoffs coming in Europe and North America in the near future. There will nothing China can’t build to a high standard of quality soon.

CCIE

I’ve yet to see anything designed & produced in China that is high quality. It is coming though since we’re letting them ripoff our designs and processes. It’s Japan & South Korea all over again, except China has the production capacity and slave labor force to eventually produce quantity & quality, while maintaining low prices.

Brian

Tesla wants to make cars for China in China, cars for North America in North America, etc. in order to not wastefully ship batteries all over the world.

theflew

Battery factories are very automated. It’s also a commodity in the EV business. As prices fall is not a business you’ll want to be in unless you can make them the cheapest.

Will

Yeah true but the people who build engine parts would still be out of work, because designing batteries is a whole different ballpark. They’d probably want to get new people in with new expertise.

Nozuka

“Job loss due to XY”
Every few years it’s something else. Yawn.

John

Necessity is the mother of invention. Nothing is more powerful than the hunger pains of an empty belly. Given the appropriate motivation, humans find a way to overcome. And they will survive the transition from ICE to electric. We don’t change until the pain of change is less than the pain of doing nothing. In my opinion, those who choose to not pay attention to where the puck is going don’t have much of my sympathy.

Mister G

I agree why don’t the auto workers get retrained in deploying a charging network? If you can’t change with the times you end up bitter and voting for Trump. CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS CO2.EARTH

Don Zenga

As the battery costs fall, the cost of ownership of EVs will go down and this will help the billions in developing world buy cars and this will help German automakers double / triple the # of vehicles sold and eventually those automakers will hire more workers.

Many workers lost their jobs to machines/process, but because of increased consumption, they got rehired. Same thing will work out for EVs as well.

Pushmi-Pullyu

[Duplicate comment deleted — Pushy]

Pushmi-Pullyu

What a massively myopic analysis!

Replacing petroleum-powered cars and trucks will be of benefit to the entire economy, not only due to a lower cost for car ownership — and thus an increase in car sales — but even more, from the lower cost of shipping goods via electric-powered BEV truck rather than petroleum-powered ICEV truck! (Not to mention the indirect benefit of lower national health costs from less air pollution.)

Sure, the EV revolution will have winners and losers, just like all disruptive tech revolution. But everybody not employed by Big Oil companies, or by those companies making parts specifically for gasmobiles, will benefit from the boost to the economy from lower shipping costs for very nearly everything people buy!

Up the EV revolution!

scott

The health related savings will be in the trillions.

Mister G

But the health care industry will lose jobs LOL just kidding CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks co2.earth

Nix

You are kidding, but you actually make a very good point.

We used to spend a ton of money on horses, and all those jobs went away. But I don’t see anybody saying we should get rid of cars and go back to horses just so we can get all those horse-related jobs back.

Whether or not a new technology has a ripple effect of reducing jobs in health care or car factories is meaningless. We have to move forward with new green technologies. CTDOCA WUF!

Mister G

People don’t like change and then when change happens they become bitter and vote for Trump. GO TESLA GO DESTROY DIRTY GAS GUZZLERS AND DIESELS LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks co2.earth

Who cares? There were job losses when we quit using CRT monitors. There were job losses when film cameras went out of style. What are they saying, we should bring those items back so we can bring those people their jobs back?

David Cary

Exactly. And 210,000 jobs is a typical month of growth in the US. Sure – manufacturing jobs are better than average jobs but it is also going to take a decade.
Guess what – progress of any kind requires less labor. This is actually small potatoes compared to automated drivers. I think we get close to 5 million drivers in the US.

Mister G

Wait a minute what manufacturing jobs are better? I don’t want my children manufacturing clothes, shoes, household goods etc… do you? CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks for caring about our planet

esto perpetua

You forgot to attack Trump this time. Back to your keyboard to edit…

David Cary

Just the fact that they are higher paying than service jobs.

Troy

plus they create exportable wealth — all economies (national, state, local) must cash-balance in the balance-of-payments at the end of the day.

John Doe
They made these comment at least 2 years ago too. It was to make sure companies making parts for ICE cars invested in EV technology. If you are a world leading company of dual mass flywheels, and you’re not ready with an equally leading EV related product during the change from ICE to EVs – jobs will be lost. The same goes for spark plugs, pistons and piston parts, and so on. Most of the companies have invester in new product development, and will be a large parts supplier in EVs too. . . But at the same time Industry 4.0, with increased automation = fewer workers. Less complex assembly, and parts in general = less workers. It will be a challenge in many areas, and in a country where the labour force is stable, and normally taken care of for decades- this will bring on a new situation. Reeducation of workers are on the way, due to other jobs require new skills. . But there will still be less jobs for people. In my line of work, where we set up machines, and automate production pre, and post production – I see this first hand. It may be a… Read more »
drpawansharma

It’s not as if the earth can not make do with lesser number of people. If let us say 75000 jobs will be lost to EVs in Germany by 2030. Why not make sure that there are that many lesser people in the country by then?
In any case the worker population of Germany is mainly Turkish immigrants.
So may be they can issue lesser number of work visas and make do with German workers?

Ewald Grimm
I know first hand what you’re saying. I work in warehouse automation. The industry have not really felt the change, since distribution of goods have increased due to less local manufacturing, and online shopping. That will change for sure. I feel bad for the workers, that belives the equipment we install are there to make their day easier – and insted it’s there to reduce the workforce to cut costs, speed things up and increase profit. A robotic storage system can “save” the company at least 70-80% of the workers. There will only be workers that can take of wrapping, and add the goods to the bins for storage. Then they are needed to place the goods from the bins, to the cartons for shipping. Now there are picking robots that have started to place goods in bins, and cartons. All the humans are good for is to basically unwrap the goods, empty containers and so on. But.. they have now tested containers with sliding floors, that are ready for automatic emptying, and the same goes with trucks that are emptied with automatic trucks. They are working on standardised packaging with QR codes placed with information to the robots, so… Read more »
scott

I really do miss my job as a travel agent, elevator operator, video-store clerk.

Mister G

What about textile factory jobs do you miss that because that where Trump wants to go LOL CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP FOLKS thanks for caring about our planet co2.earth

Lamata

German Gov, Warns Of Massive Job Loss due to EV’s . They Should be More Concerned That they’re Killing the Planet ..There Will Be Other Better Jobs Created as the Planet is Restored …

Dav8or

And they would be… ??

drpawansharma

Good, they won’t need as many Immigrants then. Then can make do with the Germans itself.

rocketman

Immigrants? No. Muslim invaders.

SJC

It depends on how they respond to what the market is saying.

Nichen

The auto-industry failed to see what was happening, and its a shame. The LEAST thing they could have done was to continue with super-efficient cars like VW Lupo 3L and Audi A2 3L able of achiving 3.0 liters per 100 km. Honda Insight Generation 1 had simular figures and was discontinued in 2006. The Audi and VW-cars were produced in 2000-2005. Why didnt they continue to produce these cars?? Everyone wants Good fuel economy…ESPECIALLY in europe where fuelprices are insane and they have been kind of crazy since 2005. The thing was that these cars were not crazy expensive and could be bought by the common man. And BTW those cars (except the Insight) ran also on biofuels if you prefered that with the same fuel-economy more or less. And today its BEV or REX which should be standard If you ask me. There is no escape from the electrification of automobiles…simple as that.

Emily

First of all, this isn’t the German government saying that there will be job losses, it’s one of the major unions making the point, largely *to* the government. Secondly, the report doesn’t say that EVs are a bad thing, it says simply that there will be job losses with the shift in technologies and that the government should be retraining the workforce to take that into account. Now, should Germany have been a lot more focussed on building a strong EV industry, certainly, but this report is a nothing but very sensible approach of a union which covers this industry, starting to gear the government up to retrain its workforce for this change.

mjpk

Exactly. Additionally it clearly shows that the BEV manufacturing efficiencies are recognized and surely pursued. It just is a long, approximately 4 year journey, but the first realizations are about to appear from Benz (EQ line) and VW (MEB platform + eTron and Taycan).

vasco

German carmakers do not know how to make the components of the blues make them cheeky, they want to prolong their implementation by 2030, but listen to if by 2022 they do not pass 80% China, Korea and India are going to be the first places in the world, no chance of getting them, maybe only with a great battery invention

K A Cheah

GERMAN GOVT SEEMED SHORT SIGHTED AND MYOPIC IF THEY USE THE LATEST FAST CHARGING SOLID STATE GRAPHENE METAL AIR BATTERY TECHNOLOGY & THE ADVANCE MOST EFFICIENT SOLAR PV TO GENERATE ENERGY & POWER TO ELECTRIFY ALL MOBILITY FOR LAND, SEA & AIR THERE WON’T BE ENOUGH SKILL WORKERS FOR THESE ENDEAVORS & EFFORTS TO MAKE EVERY OLD & NEW VEHICLE POLLUTION FREE BY THIS ELECTRIFICATION REVOLUTION POSITIVELY & TRULY !!!

jax

Poor Germans.. they are still selling 2017 E Klasse wity 2.2 liter diesel.. 136 HP… This engine was a shame 14 years ago.. when GM was building cars with 1.9 diesel 150HP..

Jopp

Germany right now needs 200.000 more engineers. Lots of companies in Germany are desperately seeking for workers.
75000 is not really a number, Germany would be afraid of.

buutvrij

In Germany, already more people are working in the fast growing ‘new energy’ industry than oldskool automobile industry

Mart

Per the IEA, “Germany’s total oil imports were 2,515 kb/d in 2011 – equivalent to approximately 98% of domestic
oil consumption. ” Over half of that is from Russia. Perhaps the German economy will improve by keeping their Euros at home?

Assaf

Here’s a radical mitigation idea: make sure your auto industry at all sectors is leading the transition, rather than reluctantly following it while still lamenting the discovery of its “clean diesel” cheating.

philip d

“Some new production of power electronics and battery assembly will not offset the difference.”

In this study are they assuming that in Germany EV producers will only be assembling the cells into their pack designs but not be manufacturing the actual cells? If so they could replace more of those lost jobs by manufacturing the cells in Germany under partnership like the Tesla/Panasonic partnership.

rocketman

Good. Germany has benefited from paying next to nothing for their defense courtesy of the American taxpayer and our politicians. What did they do with that extra cash? Poison the world with their diesel cars instead of investing in EV technology.

John Doe
Do the world really need more weapons? what if they used more money on weapons… Most of that would be made and developed in Germany, building a large military complex where the need to sell weapons would increase, and it would be competing with the US military industry. Weapons production, and use and to keep a huge military is bad for the environment. You get a lot of people with military training, that may get mental problems from war efforts. That use to end well.. right? It’s not Germany you want to have a huge ass army either. As for the US, the military is probably 4-5 times as large as needed. The money should be used on infrastructure, health and education. Let the Middle East, and other places work out their own problems. .. just have a military who can defend against attacks. Airstrikes would be a bad idea, and who would really attack the US with ground forces anyway? That would be a bad move, with a population armed to the teeth. As for diesel cars, they produce a lot less CO2 then a gasoline car, and CO2 is a climate gass . Nitrogen oxides are a more… Read more »
rocketman

The EU and Germany sure seem to “need” more weapons. And soldiers. But they’re content to outsource this to the US. I somewhat agree you don’t want a German Army too large but right now it’s downright pathetic. When has the Middle East and other places ever worked out their own problems? These problems become bigger problems that eventually affect us and require our intervention unless you want failed states, terrorists, and dictators controlling shipping lanes and allies. Isolation is a child’s dream when you’re as powerful as the US with interests all over the world. Don’t be fooled this affects your cost of living. One example. If China were to control shipping lanes in the South China Sea she could embargo any country in the area and the goods they trade with the US (and the world). Do you really want that?

Erwin

Well, is a forecast about 75k less jobs in German automotive supply chain in 12 years alarming?
Even if a job lost is actually an issue, 12 years are a lot to find new jobs, both for the very workers and for the politicians.

If you look for the “Premature deaths attributable to air pollution” chart on the European Environment Agency (EEA) site, you will discover that, just in 2012, about 400k people died in EU-28.

Compare 75k in 12 years to 400k in 1 year.

Didier

It is even worse, think at all the medical industry, how many people are going to loose their job with less pollution? Hopefully Germany has no real army, they won’t loose jobs fighting for freedom in all countries where petrol… sorry people… are in danger.