Year-end figures from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) show that 14,800 technicians qualified for it’s 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.
However, the Institute has highlighted that the idea that electric vehicles require less time for servicing ‘may be misplaced’, meaning that the UK still requires more qualified technicians able to work on the new breed of cars.
“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.”
The organisation predicts that by 2030, 103,000 qualified technicians will be needed to work with electric vehicles, increasing to 124,000 by 2032. However, the adjusted forecast warns of a potential shortfall of 4,500 qualified technicians by 2029, increasing to a skills gap of 16,000 by 2032.
Technicians who have met the IMI TechSafe standards – endorsed by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) – 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.