Is The UK Set For An Electric Shock?

Tue 27th Nov 2018

Latest figures released by the Institute of the Motor Industry has revealed that the United Kingdom’s motoring infrastructure is failing to meet targets to meet the demand for Electric Vehicles.

With the government confirming 2040 as the year that sales of new petrol and diesel engines will be banned, the race is on to ensure that the country’s network is ready to cope with the rapid changes in the world of cars.

Full electric (EV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles in the UK are expected to surpass one million vehicles by 2020, but there are currently only 18,000 charging points according to the IMI. And while more and more big car brands commit to a future of electrified vehicles, the Institute of the Motor Industry is asking the government to make similar commitments.

The IMI wants politicians and decision makers to look at the wider picture, including the fact that only three per cent of vehicle technicians are currently qualified to service or repair an electric vehicle. Whilst this is not too much of an issue whilst most cars are under warranty to franchised dealerships, when these vehicles go out to the second hand market there will be an expectation to get EVs fixed.

“The recently published sales figures for electric and hybrid vehicles demonstrate that drivers are rapidly making the transition away from pure petrol/diesel engines,” said Steve Nash, Chief Executive at the IMI.  “It’s vital that government recognises the new skills requirements needed to underpin the successful move to this new technology – which is entirely different to the skills required to service and repair internal combustion engines.

“Without appropriate training vehicle technicians are at risk of serious harm or even death and employers may be in breach of Health & Safety regulations. Government must incentivise and support businesses to invest in the training of their staff if they are to have the knowledge and skills to safely work on or around high voltage vehicle systems and technology.”