Accelerating the Charge ⚡️

Category: Employment

The race to train enough electric vehicle mechanics

Andy Palmer / Financial Times 🔒 »

Needless to say, as the UK makes the transition to electric and the internal combustion engine becomes less prominent, fixing a faulty car will require a skillset more akin to that of a software engineer than a traditional mechanic.

Since the government set the ambitious aim of banning the sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030, much of the focus has been on preparing the infrastructure to accompany that transition.

For example, it’s no secret that we need to see more on-street chargers available. We also need to see more battery factories established on British soil. We need to prepare the national grid for an increase in energy consumption. And we also need to prepare a workforce that has the relevant skills not only to build and manufacture a new style of vehicle, but also to maintain and repair them.

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“Build Back Better Act is a slap in the face of 673,000 Americans”

Cody Lusk, President & CEO of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), today released the following statement »

The inclusion of the complex and discriminatory $4,500 UAW-only tax credit in the House of Representative’s final version of the Build Back Better Act is a slap in the face of 673,000 Americans who work in international nameplate manufacturing plants and dealerships. As written, the provision uses tax dollars to complicate the electric vehicle purchase process and advantage union workers ahead of other American workers. All American workers deserve their lawmakers’ respect. Now, international nameplate dealers must turn their attention to the U.S. Senate in hopes of regaining that respect and restoring a level playing field for American workers.

The switch to EVs will create employment

David Welch / Bloomberg via The Detroit News 🔒 »

GM’s $30 billion push into EVs means adding assembly jobs. The automaker will open its once-idle Detroit-Hamtramck plant next week to make the Hummer EV and Chevrolet Silverado electric pickups, plus the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle. That plant had 1,200 workers when it was threatened with closure in 2019 — it will have double that in two years. The former Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., will be making the Cadillac Lyriq and other electric models, adding workers along the way.

All in, United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes told me that the union is gaining assembly jobs as automakers prepare for a decade or more in which consumers will buy both internal combustion and electric vehicles.

At its investor presentation on Oct. 6, GM showed a graph with about 40 vehicles for sale by its four brands today, with just a couple being EVs. By 2030, the company will offer 50 models for sale and more than half will be battery-powered. GM will need workers building both of them.

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Career Opportunities » 90,000 automotive technicians will be required to service the volume of ZEV predicted to be on UK roads by 2030

According to new analysis from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), 90,000 automotive technicians will be required to provide sufficient workforce to service the volume of zero-emissions vehicles predicted to be on UK roads by 2030 – the government’s Road to Zero deadline.

While the automotive sector has identified this requirement and is working hard to retrain and upskill automotive technicians, the professional body is predicting that there will be a shortfall of 35,700 technicians by 2030, with 2026 marking the point at which the skills gap will become evident.

Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry »

As of 2020, there were 15,400 qualified TechSafe technicians in the UK. That number represents just 6.5% of the UK automotive sector and was already giving us cause for concern. Our new analysis paints an even more challenging picture.

The pace of EV adoption is accelerating, even while the issues around infrastructure remain a barrier. Once the charging network is fit for purpose, combined with electric vehicles becoming more financially accessible, the next big challenge will be how to ensure we have a workforce adequately qualified to provide the essential servicing, maintenance, and repair to keep these vehicles safe on the roads. And that’s where we believe government attention – and funds – should be focused now.

Whether it’s looking at incentives to retrain the existing workforce, or ensuring that school-leavers and people changing the direction of their career are excited about the prospects of working in such a fast-moving sector, there needs to be a mind-shift in how to fix the widening skills gap. Significant investment is being ploughed into infrastructure, but the government still seems to be ignoring the fact that without a skilled workforce, it will fail in its decarbonisation ambitions.

Using the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) upper scenario on EV adoption, the IMI predicts that the number of qualified technicians required by 2030 is 90,000. As of 2020 there were 15,400 qualified, and using current forecast trends, by 2030 there could be a shortfall of 35,700 qualified technicians, risking the safety of technicians and undermining confidence that electric vehicles can be serviced, maintained, and repaired by a garage with the right skills.

Proposed US EV tax credit could seriously harm Canadian auto sector

US government proposals to create new electric vehicle tax credits for American-built vehicles could harm the Canadian auto industry and fall foul of trade agreements.

David Shepardson and David Ljunggren, Reuters »

In the letter dated Oct. 22, Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng told U.S. lawmakers and the Biden administration that the credits, if approved, “would have a major adverse impact on the future of EV and automotive production in Canada.”

She said this would raise the risk of severe economic harm and tens of thousands of job losses in one of Canada’s largest manufacturing sectors, adding that U.S. companies and workers would not be immune from the fallout. The auto industry in both nations is highly integrated.

Ng said the proposed credits were inconsistent with U.S. obligations under the USMCA and the World Trade Organization.

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Elsewhere » The Detroit News

UK PM promises net-zero will ‘support’ 440,000 jobs

Stefan Boscia, City A.M. » 

[Boris] Johnson. said the UK’s “net-zero strategy”, released today, will also “unlock” £90 billion in investment by 2030.

The document pledges that the UK will be powered entirely by clean electricity by 2035, subject to security of supply, and a wave of investment into wind power.

“The UK’s path to ending our contribution to climate change will be paved with well-paid jobs, billions in investment and thriving green industries – powering our green industrial revolution across the country,” Johnson said.

“By moving first and taking bold action, we will build a defining competitive edge in electric vehicles, offshore wind, carbon capture technology and more, whilst supporting people and businesses along the way.”

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Also » UK Gov’t Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener / Business Green / Autocar / Renew Economy / EurActiv

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