The IMI has revised its forecast for when the shortage of EV trained technicians will hit the aftersales sector.
Based on data from Auto Trader, the IMI now believes the shortage will occur a year sooner than previously estimated, in 2027.
The forecast comes despite a boom in the number of technicians that took an EV qualification that is eligible for IMI TechSafe accreditation this year. The number of technicians now qualified to work safely on electric vehicles is estimated to be 32,900; the equivalent of 15% of technicians in the UK.
Auto Trader’s latest Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) parc data suggests that alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) will make up 37% (12.6m vehicles) of the total car parc by 2030 and that 26% (9m vehicles) will be pure EV with adoption more rapidly than previously anticipated. The IMI forecasts that the number of TechSafe qualified technicians required to work with electric vehicles by 2030 is 90,000.
“We have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our automotive industry peers and the education sector to bang the drum to Government about the critical importance of bolstering investment in EV training”, explained Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI. “The significant uptick in technicians seeking EV qualifications this year, which in turn makes them eligible to obtain IMI TechSafe recognition, is incredibly positive and proves our collective efforts have paid off.
“Furthermore, indications are that the 3rd quarter of 2022 will see record numbers continue, which is fantastic news for the automotive industry. The more technicians who meet the IMI TechSafe standards - endorsed by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) - the greater the confidence the public will have in choosing electric as we head to 2030.”
UK electric vehicle buyers will “pay the price” for the skills gap in trained technicans, unless the Government takes action, according to Warrantywise.
Technicians who have met the IMI TechSafe standards can showcase their credentials by joining the IMI’s industry-wide Professional Register. The Register lists individual members – and their place of work – who have been recognised for their achievements, experience, professionalism and commitment to a Professional Standard of behaviours, and for keeping their knowledge and skills up to date through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Drivers of EVs can access the Register online for free, to find local qualified EV technicians and garages.
Ian Plummer, commercial director of Auto Trader and a Non-Executive Director of the IMI, added: “As increasing numbers of motorists transition to EVs it is vital that the infrastructure is there to keep them on the road. A hugely significant part of this is the ability to get vehicles serviced and repaired safely, quickly and efficiently.
“By using our insight to help the IMI deliver meaningful and accurate data on EV adoption, the sector and wider marketplace, including key stakeholders such as government, can gain a realistic picture on the future demand for EV qualified technicians. As well as improving the experience of owning an EV, consumer confidence in after-sales support is also a key component in encouraging motorists to make the switch to electric. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the investment is made now in the skills training that is essential to ensure a smooth road ahead for EV adoption.”
Last year, the IMI predicted the EV skills shortage would materialise in 2026.