The Greatest EV Issue No One Is Talking About Is The Lack of Technicians Who Can Repair Them

More electric vehicle (EV) issues pop up daily as the global automotive industry hurls towards an exclusively electric future. A lack of charging infrastructure, inadequate driving ranges, and expensive price tags have rendered EVs an impractical vehicle choice for many.

Another critical issue potential buyers face that isn't discussed as much is the lack of qualified technicians to fix these cars. How big of an issue is the lack of qualified EV technicians? How is it forecasted to affect the next phase of the auto industry’s switch to EVs?

In short, a worldwide technician shortage will make EVs more expensive for consumers due to more expensive repair costs. This will likely short-circuit plans to meet deadlines for cutting vehicle carbon emissions in the long term.

Why Are There So Few Technicians?

Portrait Shot of a Handsome Mechanic Working on a Vehicle in a Car Service. Professional Repairman is Wearing Gloves and Using a Ratchet Underneath the Car. Modern Clean Workshop.
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All over the world, the expectation is for independent auto shops to make EVs cheaper because their repair rates are more affordable than franchise garages. The problem is it’s both dangerous and not economically viable for many independent repair shops to invest in the infrastructure and training necessary to supply these technicians.

Many places throughout the globe are still seeing low EV sales and have relatively few charging networks. Paying for expensive equipment to work on high-voltage systems – with high electrocution and fire risks – that can kill inexperienced technicians in seconds is not a high priority for most independent garage owners. While auto repair shops have been experiencing a worker shortage since the pandemic, it’s estimated that as internal combustion engine vehicle sales are increasingly banned around the globe, many countries will find themselves short tens of thousands of qualified EV technicians.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that as many as 80,000 electricians and technicians will be needed annually over the next decade. Many jobs will revolve around repairing EVs and installing their charging networks. If independent garages decide to avoid dealing with EVs altogether because of high costs and serious electrical and fire hazards – consumers will be forced to seek expensive repairs from franchise dealers overwhelmed by the demand for their technicians. These repair costs and higher insurance rates and warranties will make EVs prohibitively expensive for many consumers.

Next Steps.

car repairs
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Without strong incentives to make the switch, most non-franchise auto repair shops will likely stick to only working on gas-powered vehicles. However, people are lobbying to address this technician shortage, with companies like The Siemens Foundation launching a $30 million initiative for training technicians to work on EV chargers in the U.S.

While contributions like this help – they still fall far short of solving the issue, and according to the U.S. Institute For Workplace Skills and Innovation, when it comes to switching to EVs, most independent repair shops will be on their own.