Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry responds to the Prime Minister’s Green Plan
“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.
“Whilst the devil is certainly going to be in the detail, and the IMI welcomes the opportunity to engage with government to provide input for its plans, we are concerned that, as usual, it seems little thought has been given to the swathe of businesses and individuals employed by the automotive industry beyond manufacturing. Yet it is this ecosystem – from the distribution chain of car dealers to service & repair and even accident recovery – that fundamentally underpins the government’s ambitions. If the new parc of electric vehicles can’t be serviced and repaired safely the whole plan will stall on the starting grid.
If the new parc of electric vehicles can’t be serviced and repaired safely the whole plan will stall on the starting grid.
“Currently around just five percent 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.”