The effects of climate change are encouraging more consumers than ever to move away from petrol and diesel cars and towards hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs).
There are now over 455,000 plug-in EVs on UK roads, with 2020 seeing the number of such registrations grow by 66% on the previous year.
Further significant changes to our cars, the way we use them and what we do when we encounter problems could well be on the horizon.
Traditional mechanics are experts in mechanical components and combustion engines.
Even with petrol cars, if you encounter an electrical problem with your vehicle you may well be advised to seek assistance from a specialist.
Mechanics are more comfortable using tools like socket sets and wrenches to skilfully carry out repairs and servicing. Working with electrics is a completely different ball game.
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In 2019 the UK became the first major economy to pass a net zero emissions law, meaning that by 2050 it plans to have made a 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels.
In a bid to help the government reach that target, new cars and vans powered wholly be petrol or diesel will no longer be sold in the UK from 2030.
It does not seem like it will be long until EVs become the dominant type of vehicle on our roads.
Working on EVs requires a significantly different set of skills to the training received by traditional mechanics.
According to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), only 5% of technicians working in garages and dealerships across the UK are qualified to work on EVs. An open letter from IMI president Jim Saker and CEO Steve Nash added that “without those skills, serious injury or death is a very real prospect”.
Independent mechanics will likely need to fund their own training to work on EVs. Those that don’t will no doubt see their workload decline, with car users having to rely on manufacturers and dealerships for repairs.
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There will likely still be a role for traditional mechanics well into the future, but it is important to be prepared for the forthcoming switch to EVs.
The IMI offers a comprehensive 54-hour eLearning package to enable mechanics to upskill their ability in repairing EVs.
Others may wish to shift their focus to specialise on tyres or brakes, which will remain fundamental to EVs as they still use brake fluid to operate.
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