Electric car sales causing chaos as UK 'doesn't have the talent to look after the EVs of today'

A technician working on an electric car

The UK is facing a dramatic shortage of electric car technicians

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 28/09/2023

- 10:05

A report forecasts that there will be a shortage of 20,000 EV technicians by the end of the decade

Experts are warning that the UK could be critically unprepared for the rise in the number of electric vehicles despite the looming 2035 car ban.

The number of electric vehicles is constantly growing, with the UK seeing more than one million vehicles registrations and an average of one EV sold every 60 seconds.

WATCH NOW: The panel discusses electric cars

Some argued that it was wrong to roll back environmental pledges, while others said it would help the upfront cost of electric vehicles fall and allow more people to make the jump.

Lawrence Whittaker, CEO at Warrantywise, said the car industry should stop worrying about the semantics of the 2030 and 2035 deadline and instead focus on electric cars.

He warned that there are not enough technicians around the country to work on electric cars on the road today, with the problem set to worsen as more people invest in an EV.

The expert added: “There’s a lot of chatter about the pros and cons of electric vehicles at the moment, but there’s still an elephant in the room with EV ownership – we don’t have enough technicians to fix them when they go wrong, or to maintain them for the future.

“I mentioned this in March 2022, and it still hasn’t moved on quickly enough to keep up with demand, and I’m not seeing enough being done to solve it, either.

“No one is talking about the fact that, regardless of this date moving, we don’t have the talent to look after the EVs of today, and we’re not doing enough to prepare for the future… Regardless of if that’s 2030 or 2035.”

A report from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) warned there could be a potential shortage of 25,000 qualified TechSafe technicians by 2032.

By the end of the decade, there will be a need for around 107,000 TechSafe-certified technicians to work on electric cars all around the country.

This will then need to increase further to 139,000 by 2032, when many organisations predict that there could be more than 20 million electric cars on the road.

The IMI forecasts that there will be a shortage of 20,000 EV technicians in six years which could potentially grow to 36,000 by 2032.

Lawrence Whittaker highlighted how more EV warranties had been sold in the first half of this year compared to the entirety of last year, showing the popularity of new electric cars.

He continued, saying: “TechSafe qualification is crucial for EV repairs.

“To further maintain their TechSafe recognition and competence, qualified technicians must undergo continuous professional development to keep up with the constantly evolving technological world of the EV sector, which also takes time and investment.

“The need to continue learning about EVs, and how to maintain them safely, displays how qualified technicians constantly need replenishment and re-training as the number of trained professionals isn’t lining up with the exponential growth of the industry.”


Technicians working on an electric car

One expert warns that the problem could get worse before the end of the decade


With the growing of electric vehicles on the road, Mr Whittaker is warning that electric car owners may be forced to travel far and wide to get their vehicles looked at if something goes wrong in the future.

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