Only 3% Of Technicians Are Certified To Work On Electric Cars

NOV 28 2018 BY MARK KANE 4

Qualified EV technicians needed

According to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) in the UK, only around 3% of all vehicle technicians are currently qualified to work safely on electrified vehicles.

Moreover, the vast majority of those qualified to service plug-ins works at manufacturers’ franchised dealerships, which means that there is not many independent service centers where one could go for EV repairs.

The IMI report also shows that currently, only London is on track to meet EV adoption targets in the UK.

“The government has confirmed that the sale of new vehicles with petrol or diesel internal combustion engines as their only source of propulsion will be banned from 2040, with some MP’s lobbying for an earlier introduction date of 2032 – which has already been mandated by the Scottish Parliament.  Yet, the IMI has found that there are serious gaps in the infrastructure to support these targets. Disappointingly, the UK’s ultra-low emission cities are in a race to catch up with demand after failing so far to deliver a sustainable infrastructure.Diesel sales are rapidly declining and the take up of electrified alternatives, including full electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles, are estimated to exceed 1 million on UK roads by 2020.  But there are currently only 18,000 charging points across 6,500 locations.”

“But it isn’t purely charging infrastructure that the government needs to focus on. The IMI believes government must also focus its attention on the sustainability of the businesses who are servicing and repairing these new vehicles.  Currently, as demand for electrified vehicles continues to increase, there is going to be a serious short-fall in adequately trained technicians – especially as some of the EV’s and PHEV’s already on the UK’s roads start to change hands and the owners look beyond the franchised dealer networks to find cost effective service and maintenance solutions.With so few technicians in the independent service and repair sector qualified or equipped to work safely on the high-voltage systems of electrified vehicles, the IMI is working with government to establish national standards which comply with HSE requirements and meet the employer’s responsibilities under the Electricity at Work Regulations.”

Steve Nash, Chief Executive at the IMI, said:

“The recently published sales figures for electric and hybrid vehicles demonstrate that drivers are rapidly making the transition away from pure petrol/diesel engines.  However it’s vital that government recognises the new skills requirements needed to underpin the successful move to this new technology – which is entirely different to the skills required to service and repair internal combustion engines.

“Without appropriate training vehicle technicians are at risk of serious harm or even death and employers may be in breach of Health & Safety regulations. Government must incentivise and support businesses to invest in the training of their staff if they are to have the knowledge and skills to safely work on or around high voltage vehicle systems and technology.”

Source: IMI

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4 Comments on "Only 3% Of Technicians Are Certified To Work On Electric Cars"

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Taylor Marks

You’d want the percentage of technicians qualified to work on EVs to be about the same as the percentage of vehicles that need work that are EVs. Since EVs tend to have fewer lifetime miles on them (by virtue of being a newer technology and so younger) and tend to need less work in general, I’d expect the percentage of vehicles that need work that are EVs to be below the percentage of global vehicles on the road that are EVs.

All this to say, I think 3% of technicians being ready to work on EVs sounds way ahead of where it needs to be right now. This is excellent news. I hope they remain ahead of the curve in preparing to work on these vehicles.

John Doe

I would think the EV part of the car have few problems – but the mechanical part will have wear and tear, corrotion and not to forget fender benders. .

Dealers are required to have a certain amount of technicians if they are going to be allowed to sell EVs. The brands have brand specific courses they will have to pass.
New car mechanics will all ready have EV technology as part of their curriculum.

MEroller

I am actually THIS week going through Stage 2 of certification training for work on electric cars, which is simply there to raise the awareness for all the dangers and precautions when fiddling with the traction battery and the high-voltage components. Today we went through the steps required to de-energize the HV-battery for instance. After this full week of training is over I will still not be allowed to measure live of even just potentially live high voltage. That will require another 3 days of 100% practical training in Stage 3. And I already have considerable knowledge of all things electrical due to the specific engineering degree I have, so I could skip Stage 1, and Stage 2 for us already has 2h of practical experience every day strewn in, which would normally not be the case for people with less electrical knowledge. Also the cost for these three steps of training is rather substantial, so I can understand why car workshops and dealerships are not sending all their mechanics to such courses.
We do not need it for work on cars (yet), but rather for work on the traction batteries we are developing.

Big Solar

3% should be plenty. My Leaf is 5.7 years old with 45k miles and so far only needed a key fob battery