Electric and hybrid servicing demand set to increase

53 per cent of drivers planning to buy or lease a new car are considering an electric or hybrid vehicle

Electric and hybrid servicing demand set to increase
The IMI wants Ministers to introduce a license to practice for technicians working on electric and hybrid vehicles.

Findings from a survey conducted for the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), shows dramatic growth in demand for alternative fuelled vehicles from the two per cent of overall of car sales in 2014.

In a survey of 2,000 car owners, the IMI found that more than half would consider owning an electric or hybrid vehicle.

IMI CEO, Steve Nash said: “We have always expected demand for electric and hybrid vehicles to increase gradually over time as the cars become more sophisticated and the public become aware of their quality, the level of demand shown in this survey is astonishing and requires a response from Government.”

IMI awards 96 per cent of automotive qualifications and reports that 1,000 technicians are currently qualified to level three in electric vehicle and hybrid maintenance – another 1,000 are currently are taking the three year course.

“We need a license to practice for technicians to reassure the public and to protect the employers who invest in the skills required to take care of the next generation of vehicles and their owners,” Nash added.

Skills shortage

With around 170,000 technicians working in the industry, the IMI has warned a surge in demand for electric vehicles will lead to difficulties for owners and businesses.

It fears a lack of specialist EV skills will lead to unqualified staff attempting to work on these vehicles and is calling on the government to address the skills shortage with a proactive apprentice recruitment programme.

Commenting on ULEV training earlier this on GW, Tony of ADH Automotive wrote: “We will be looking at training for hybrid vehicles simply because we need to.

“I am certain that over the next few years these vehicles will start to trickle into the smaller independent workshops and we need to be ready for them.

However, Carl Ford of Foster and Sims told GW: “We went on a training course and brought all of the gear about three years ago but all we’ve ever got from it is service work.

“They just don’t seem to break, they’re too reliable.”

Have you invested in hybrid or electric training or are you yet to make the commitment? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

To find out more about the IMI, including how to become a member, click ‘More Details’ below.

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