Updated Jan 9 to include report link
Britain will run out of technicians to service the growing number of electric vehicles on its roads by the end of the decade, a think-tank has warned.
The Social Market Foundation, a cross-party think-tank, is warning of a skills shortfall among techs trained to service and repair electric vehicles. Shortages of qualified technicians risks driving up servicing costs and potentially leaving some drivers unable to have their cars maintained properly.
“Formalised, professional and accredited training routes to prepare technicians for EV repair and maintenance are needed”, the report said. Reforms should allow more of the money paid by larger employers for the Apprenticeship Levy to be used to fund that training, the SMF said.
The report’s recommendations were welcomed by the Independent Garage Association.
“The report clearly identifies the central importance of independent garages in ensuring consumers can access good quality cost-effective HEV services as volume grows,” said Stuart James, Chief Executive of the IGA. “The authors have also explicitly recognised the need for policymakers to support UK independent garages.”
“We hope this report can inform policymakers,” he added. “Government needs to help the sector address the shortfall of skilled technicians as well as investing in the infrastructure to cope with the upcoming EV revolution.”
The report also noted that between 2006 and 2021 the ‘number of UK technicians has declined by 30%’ from nearly 203,000 to 141,700.