We’ve got ourselves a sticky situation. From London to Milan to Detroit, there’s a heck of a snag – not enough hands on deck to fix our beloved electric vehicles (EVs). You’d think with the whole world turning green, we’d be prepared, right?
Well, between the cities, the chatter’s loud and clear. If you’re hoping for EVs to be affordable, we’re banking on independent repair shops. Why? They’re a heck of a lot cheaper than those big brand dealerships, for one.
Yet, the situation’s kinda hairy. Many garage dudes and dudettes are hesitant to dive into EV repairs. I mean, we’re talking about seriously high voltage here – think 400 to 800 volts! That’s not just a shocker – it’s lethal! And don’t even get me started on those EV fires. They’re like those BBQs you can’t put out no matter how much beer you throw on them.
Take Roberto Petrilli, a 60-year-old shop owner from Milan. He’s scratching his head over whether to drop a whopping 30,000 euros (about $32,600) on equipment. With only a handful of EVs whizzing around Italy and a teeny-weeny charging network, he’s thinking, “Why bother?”
Throw in the fact that auto repair shops were already short-staffed post-pandemic, and you’ve got a recipe for a major headache. In England, the IMI’s raising the alarm. They reckon by 2032, the UK could be short by 25,000 EV technicians. Yikes! The US isn’t faring much better. They’re predicting a need for around 80,000 electrician gigs each year till 2031.
Down under in Australia? They’re looking at a shortfall of 9,000 EV techs by 2030. Ouch.
The real kicker? If folks like Roberto decide EVs just ain’t worth the hassle, that means bigger repair bills and way longer waits for us, the drivers. Already, UK’s Warrantywise has spilled the beans: fixing up a Tesla Model 3 now costs three times more than your average gas-guzzler. And if we’re all shelling out more for repairs and warranties, ain’t that gonna keep EVs pricey?
Mark Darvill over at Hillclimb Garage sees the tide turning, though. He’s all in on EVs and expects them to make up a good chunk of his repairs by 2024. But he gets why others are dragging their feet. “Many are just scared of the unknown,” he reckons.
Sadly, though, while EV sales are skyrocketing in Britain, folks keen on getting EV qualifications are, well, not. Something’s gotta give.
Car manufacturers are in a race of their own to get technicians trained. Even big guns like Tesla are rolling up their sleeves, launching courses to train the next gen. But Daniel Brown, a bigwig at Lucas-Nuelle in Germany, has a dark prediction. He’s worried unqualified folks might be pushed to tackle these EV monsters. “It’s a ticking time bomb,” he says.
But hey, it ain’t all doom and gloom! The Siemens Foundation is ponying up a cool $30 million to train US technicians. They know the stakes: get more trained techs or watch the EV revolution sputter out. And over in New South Wales, there’s talk of pumping 100 million Australian bucks into EV training.
Yet, many reckon they can’t just wait around for governments to save the day. As Nicholas Wyman, a top dog at the U.S. Institute For Workplace Skills and Innovation puts it, “If you’re banking on the government, don’t hold your breath.”
Buckle up, EV lovers, looks like we’re in for a bumpy ride!