Only 3% of mechanics qualified to work on electric vehiclesFri, 07/12/2018
New figures have revealed there is a shortfall in the number of mechanics who are qualified to work on electric vehicles.
Tristan Shale-Hester, Auto Express, reports:
Only three per cent of mechanics are qualified to work on electric vehicles (EVs), according to new research.
The data, which came from an Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) analysis of vehicle technician certification, also showed that the vast majority of the mechanics who are qualified to work on EVs are employed by manufacturers’ franchised dealerships.
The IMI also revealed Clean Air Zones across the country are failing to meet their targets for EV uptake, with an average of eight electric cars per charging point in the UK. The organisation claims London is the only British city that is currently meeting its targets for EV adoption.
According to Department for Transport figures, the number of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) – including EVs and plug-in hybrids – on the UK’s roads is expected to exceed one million by 2020, but there are currently only 18,000 charging points across 6,500 locations.
The IMI believes the Government needs to focus its attention not just on improving infrastructure, but on addressing what it describes as a “serious shortfall” in the number of mechanics qualified to work on EVs.
The findings have prompted the IMI to work with the Government to establish national standards that comply with the Health and Safety Executive’s requirements and meet employer responsibilities under Electricity at Work Regulations.
IMI chief executive Steve Nash said the latest sales figures for AFVs “demonstrate that drivers are rapidly making the transition away from pure petrol/diesel engines”, adding: “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.”
Nash went on to say: “Without appropriate training, vehicle technicians are at risk of serious harm or even death.”
He called on the Government to “incentivise and support businesses to invest in the training of their staff” in order to provide them with “the knowledge and skills to safely work on or around high voltage vehicle systems and technology”.
The data highlights that despite the ambitious targets from the Government to reduce emissions, there are serious steps to be taken to ensure the nation’s infrastructure is prepared for the transition to electric. Although this involves installing enough charging points, not upskilling the current industry workforce leaves a serious gap in the sector.