Year-end figures from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) show that over 14,800 dedicated technicians undertook the training and qualifications required to obtain IMI TechSafe professional recognition in 2022. This boosted the total number of qualified technicians able to safely work on electric vehicles in the UK to 39,000 by the end of last year.
The IMI welcomes the effort by employers and individuals to upskill for decarbonisation but is calling for an acceleration of training to avoid the potential shortfall of 16,000 qualified technicians currently predicted by 2032. The IMI is highlighting that previous market expectations of electric vehicles requiring less time for servicing may be misplaced, increasing pressure on a workforce already dealing with an ageing UK car parc.
“Despite a long-held belief that EVs – with less moving parts – will be quicker to service than their ICE counterparts, in-depth analysis conducted by the IMI for our response to the MOT Consultation suggests otherwise”, explained Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry. “In particular, tyre wear on electric vehicles is heavier than on ICE models; according to Garage Industry Trends analysis of 2021 MOT test data, EVs had a failure rate of 11.43% for 2018 registered vehicles compared to 10.45% for petrol vehicles and the weak point was identified as tyres.
“The assumption that more EVs can be serviced by a single technician compared to non-EVs therefore no longer rings true. Garages and workshops can’t simply assume they will need fewer technicians to service EVs. Add to this the fact that the UK car parc is ageing rapidly, increasing the need for maintenance, and adding to the already sizeable workload of technicians, and it is easy to see how the training and deployment of technicians qualified to work on EVs needs to shift up a gear.”