The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars has been brought forward ten years to 2030, forming part of Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan to tackle climate change and create jobs in industries such as nuclear energy – the UKs “green industrial revolution”.
Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry, responded: “We knew it was coming, but of course the implications for the automotive industry are monumental; manufacturers now know that they must replace their entire product offering with electrified vehicles in less than 10 years. That can surely only mean that their ranges will shrink significantly compared to today. Let’s hope that consumer choice remains front and centre.
“Currently around just 5% of UK automotive technicians are adequately trained to work on electric vehicles. The ramp-up plan for all those who are likely to work on electrical vehicles – from service and repair technicians to those working in the roadside recovery and blue light sectors – now must be addressed as a matter of urgency. And that means some of that £12bn investment promised by the Prime Minister needs to be put towards skills training.”
“The IMI TechSafe™ standards, endorsed by OLEV at the end of 2019, mean that electrified vehicle users can access the IMI Professional Register to check the electric vehicle technical competencies of technicians at their local garage. But we are currently a long way off achieving a critical mass of technicians qualified, with COVID-19 setting us back significantly in reaching optimum numbers in time for 2035, let alone 2030. Government action is needed urgently to encourage automotive employers to re-ignite their EV training plans.”
“Whilst the Independent Garage Association (IGA) supports the government’s green agenda, the desire to push to a full Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) car parc by 2030 is very ambitious considering there are many issues still unresolved.”
“There are a number of logistical questions that need resolving ahead of the ban,”states Stuart James, Chief Executive of the IGA. “Electric vehicles are highly priced compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts, and the government needs to ensure that consumers have a more affordable choice to maintain their mobility.
“There are also many unanswered questions surrounding HEV battery life, the sustainability of producing these batteries, and charging point infrastructure. Many consumers are wary of buying a HEV, and until they become more affordable and the driving ranges are seen to increase sales, growth is likely to remain low.
“The independent garage sector is well positioned to support customers with servicing and repairs on these vehicles, and over the past five years have been preparing through over 5,000 HEV Awareness and Safety courses delivered by the IGA.”
“While the drive to reduce carbon emissions is vital for the long term future of our planet, the government has a long journey ahead to overcome these hurdles before 2030.”
- There are around 245,000 automotive technicians, working on 38 million registered vehicles in the UK.
- As of October 2020, there were 383,000 plug-in cars & vans registered. It is predicted that this will increase to between 2.7 to 10.6 million by 2030.
- Taking the top estimate (due to unexpected increase in sales in the past 3 months), the IMI calculates that the UK would need approximately 70,500 qualified technicians to support this vehicle parc.
- The IMI estimates that there are between 13,000 and 20,000 technicians currently qualified to work on electric vehicles – which means a requirement of between 50,000 and 57,000 technicians by 2030.
- Pre COVID-19, the market was on course to achieve critical mass; 6,500 certificates for working on electric vehicles were issued in 2019. If that rate had continued the minimum required qualified technicians would have been reached by 2030. However, 2020 Q2 numbers were down 85% compared to the same period 2019.