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IMI presents EV aftersales safety guidance to Department for Transport

IMI chief executive Steve Nash

The Institute for the Motor Industry has presented new information related to the regulation of technicians working on electric vehicles to the Parliamentary Secretary of State for the Department for Transport.

During the meetwing yesterday (May 30), IMI chief executive Steve Nash handed over new research and recommendations to the DfT’s Jesse Norman MP that underpins why government should seek to implement a regulation that guarantees the safety of vehicle technicians working on high-voltage EV systems.

The IMI is calling for government to take action to both safeguard all technicians working on EVs, and ensure independent garages are not excluded from the commercial opportunity the new generation of ultra-low motoring will bring.

Nash said: “The IMI has outlined three recommendations for the government to consider when it comes to supporting the automotive retail sector’s transition from internal combustion engines to advanced hybrid and electric-powered vehicles.

“The risk to health and safety is very real and needs to be addressed with urgency. It is also vital that the regulatory mechanisms are in place to support businesses that will come into contact with these vehicles and will be made to defer business because of the lack of skills.

“The IMI is continuing to work with government in mandating a requirement for Competency-Based Standards to support the industry in technologically disruptive times.”

The IMI said that, while the motor industry remains largely unregulated, its research had found that the introduction of a license or accreditation scheme could provide businesses with a higher skilled, and fairer market when it comes to servicing and repairing new vehicle technology. 

 It said that the meeting between Jesse Norman and Steve Nash was “a positive step towards shaping a new regulation that safeguards all technicians working on electric and hybrid vehicles”.

The IMI’s latest paper includes evidence from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in support of the IMI’s recommendations for a mandatory competency-based standard.

The research paper explores if a regulation has any increased costs to the consumer, whether other countries have adopted a licensing approach, and the potential impact licensing could have on the independent garages that make up over 75% of the UK motor retail industry.     

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