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Finding an EV-qualified technician is a “postcode lottery”, says IMI

Research by The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has revealed significant gaps across the UK for qualified technicians to work on electric vehicles.

The findings, published on June 6 in a report titled ‘Electric Evolution: Examining the Triumphs, Trials and Roadblocks of the UK’s Electric Vehicle Aftermarket’, show that despite an increase in EV training in the last year, qualified technician availability is still inconsistent across the UK, presenting an underlying risk to the government’s decarbonisation plans.

The analysis looked at the proportion of technicians EV qualified compared to the total technician workforce in each UK local authority.

Only seven local authorities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have 10% or more technicians qualified to work on electric vehicles.

Worryingly more than 150 local authorities have less than 2% of technicians with the necessary qualifications to work safely on electric vehicles.

“Our data reveals the greatest proportion of EV qualified technicians in the automotive aftermarket workforce in some obvious locations such as London and the South East”, explained Emma Carrigy, research manager at the IMI. 

“However, it is a concern that there are also some big gaps in much of the central part of England as well as a number of London Boroughs.”

With electric vehicles predicted by Auto Trader to make up a quarter of the total UK car parc by 2030, the number of technicians qualified to work safely on the new drivetrain is set to fall short of what is required unless significant investment is made in training as a matter of urgency.

The IMI is currently predicting that 77,000 IMI TechSafe qualified technicians will be required by 2030, increasing to 89,000 by 2032.

Top 20 local authorities with EV technicians

Local authority Percentage
Croydon 18.90%
Redditch 14.40%
West Lancashire 11.50%
Inverclyde 11.20%
Winchester 10.90%
Broadland 10.70%
Cheltenham 10%
North Hertfordshire 9.80%
Rushmoor 9.20%
Stevenage 8.30%
Moray 8.20%
Basingstoke & Deane 7.70%
Perth and Kinross 7.60%
Guildford 6.90%
Rushcliffe 6.80%
Pendle 6.60%
South Tyneside 5.90%
Worcester 5.70%
Reading 5.50%
Watford 5.50%

Bottom 20 local authorities with EV technicians

Local authority Percentage
North East Derbyshire 0.50%
Newry, Mourne and Down 0.50%
Camden 0.50%
Hackney 0.50%
South Ribble 0.50%
North Northamptonshire 0.50%
Charnwood 0%
Runnymede 0.40%
Sunderland 0.30%
Islington 0.30%
Barrow-in-Furness 0.20%
Copeland 0.20%
Craven 0.20%
Isles of Scilly 0.20%
Knowsley 0.20%
Maldon 0.20%
Redcar and Cleveland 0.20%
Rossendale 0.20%
Shetland Islands 0.20%
Thanet 0.20%

Tom Seymour

Freelance writer for AM, Tom Seymour has been a specialist B2B journalist covering the automotive sector for over 14 years. He started his freelance career in 2015 and currently writes for a variety of automotive, business and technology publications.

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