EV owners may face steeper than expected repair and warranty expenses as well as lengthy wait times for repairs because there are not enough service technicians and mechanics able to service EVs, according to a report by Reuters.
The shortage of EV technicians comes from the expense, danger, and financial uncertainty currently involved in EV repair service, the Reuters research shows.
Many knowledgeable sources in the auto repair and technical training industries assert that EV costs will only be made viable if a large number of independently owned EV repair shops start up. Dealer repair facilities are too expensive as well as too few and far between to viably cut repair costs or shorten waiting times.
However, the obstacles to small, numerous independent EV repair shops appear difficult to overcome, Reuters reports. The equipment to outfit a repair shop for EV service can cost tens of thousands of dollars, in excess of $30,000 in some European locations, while the currently low number of EVs in operation makes recouping this outlay difficult.
The repair process can also be fatally dangerous, with technicians routinely close to 400-volt and 800-volt systems capable of instantly killing them if an error exposes them to a jolt of current. Runaway EV battery fires raise the chances of massive property damage or destruction if one occurs inside the repair facility.
Reuters reports many mechanics choose not to offer EV service for the reasons mentioned above. Shortages of EV technicians could amount to 25,000 in England and 9,000 in Australia by 2030 to 2032, while the U.S. needs 80,000 electricians per year by 2031. Not all of the American electricians will be EV technicians, but EV techs and charger installation personnel are included in the number.
Various foundations and automotive professional organizations are attempting to prod governments into allocating tens of millions of tax dollars to train EV technicians. However, U.S. Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation executive director Nicholas Wyman remarked that “If you’re waiting for the (U.S.) government to take action, you’ll be waiting a freaking long time.”
GM is currently working toward realizing its plan to boost its EV production and sales in North America and China to 1 million EV units annually by 2025. The same year is also targeted by The General as the deadline for an intended launch of 30 EV models globally.
CEO Mary Barra says that the automaker is “transitioning to an all-electric portfolio from a position of strength and we’re focused on growth,” and its efforts continue toward “rapidly building a competitive advantage in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and customer experience.”