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How will the automotive industry adapt to Electric Vehicles?

02/11/2017
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While the increase in electric vehicles is seen as largely beneficial for consumers, for automotive manufacturers, many new challenges are being ushered in. As they become the dominant vehicle produced, an industry that focuses largely on powertrain production could see a major shakeup – particularly in the levels of workers currently employed.
The ascendancy of electric vehicles could have a negative impact upon automotive industry jobs- particularly those associated with the powertrain element of manufacture.
Problems

The major problem that will face workers in the powertrain industry is simply that electric vehicles are less complex and therefore will require less man-hours, something that is set to have major ramifications on the levels of employment. Batteries, electronics and electric motors will take the place of transmissions, exhausts and internal combustion engines.  With the new elements of automotive construction comes the use of outsourced products; where once the production of powertrain elements was ‘in-house’, now items such as batteries will be supplied by external companies. With the majority of battery related materials produced outside of Europe (Asia and North America lead the way in battery manufacture) electric vehicles could usher in large levels of job losses. The skilled element of automobile construction will also be severely pared down, as generic components take the place of those that require specialist training and expertise to create.
The rise of EVs may lead to the paring down of the skilled element of automotive production, as generic components take the place of those that require specialist training and expertise to create.
Timescale

While the dominance of electric vehicles in the automotive market place looks set to become inevitable, there are many questions as to when it will happen. The announcement in July 2017, that new diesel and petrol vehicles will be banned in the UK from 2040, there are still questions around changes to infrastructure as well as public attitudes and alterations of long established behaviour.

In the interim period, it is likely that powertrain manufacturing could see the benefits of new rules and regulations that are being installed in order to satisfy emission targets and make vehicles more environmentally friendly. As demands from consumers change along with these, powertrain manufacturers will have to adapt and alter their processes in skilled and innovative ways, meaning that the job market could remain buoyant and even expand in the short to medium term.
The fact that EV cars can be produced more quickly, may lead to increased global ownership- leading to more employment opportunities within the industry.
How Will the Industry Adapt?

There seems little doubt that the powertrain manufacturing industry will have to make serious changes in the coming years in order to minimise the losses it looks set to incur from the mass move to electric vehicles. With the potential for cars to be produced more quickly and easily should come a price drop, meaning that more will be sold and usage will increase, which could provide job opportunities.  Alongside this, schemes such as shared ownership and the lending and borrowing of vehicles look set to become more prevalent, and offer areas into which the automotive manufacturing industry may look to explore and expand in order to generate profit. This would of course mean radical changes within the industry as it looks away from traditional production and towards offering other products and services based around aiding and assisting with expanded car use.

While newcomers may look to enter this marketplace, current manufacturers will have the experience, knowledge, networks and infrastructure to give themselves a clear advantage and head start. The role the electric car takes in the lives of the public will need to be assessed and evaluated and reacted to in order to maximise these advantages. The multi-national automotive corporation Daimler AG, owners of Mercedes-Benz, is already looking at ways to adapt to the coming changes, developing plans to start building electric vehicle components themselves, rather than look to bring in the parts needed from external companies. They believe this will help to minimise job losses and protect Daimler from relying on other organisations. It is also possible that manufacturers may react in the opposite way and look to forge closer links with those outsourced manufacturers with a view to a more collaborative approach to innovation and creating new ways of operating.

With the automotive jobs market facing unprecedented challenges, you need a recruitment partner that is fit to meet these challenges too. In a word; Fircroft.
Tags: Automotive
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How will the automotive industry adapt to Electric Vehicles? - Time to read 4 min
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