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EV skills gap will hit one year earlier than previous forecasts

IMI EV TechSafeTM qualifications ramp up in first half of 2022 to hit 15% penetration – but still lag behind electric vehicle adoption predictions

Ahead of World EV Day, new data from the IMI shows significant acceleration in EV skills qualification – but analysis of Auto Trader data suggests the EV skills gap will hit one year earlier than previous forecasts

New data from the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) reveals that the first six months of 2022 saw the highest number of technicians take an EV qualification that is eligible for IMI TechSafe™ accreditation, since its introduction in 2016. 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. 

However, despite the rapid acceleration, the forecast of when the EV skills gap is likely to hit – the shortfall between electric vehicles on UK roads and the sufficient number of approved technicians to service, repair and MOT them – has been dialled back by the IMI, from 2028 to 2027.

The new prediction draws on Auto Trader’s latest Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) parc data which suggests that alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) will make up 37% (12.6 million vehicles) of the total car parc by 2030 and that 26% (9 million 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.  

Graph EV release.jpg

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, explained:

“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. 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.”

Ian Plummer, Commercial Director, Auto Trader and a Non-Executive Director of the IMI adds:

“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.”

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.

Data sources:

  • Technician forecasts: IMI calculation interpreting EMSIE SOC data (2022)
  • Number of AFVs – Auto Trader total car parc projections
  • TechsafeTM figures: All 4 nation qualification regulatory board published data (Ofqual, SQA, CCEA, Qualifications Wales) 2018 – 2022Q1. 2022Q2 IMI data

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