The electric vehicle (EV) sector is a burgeoning industry that is set to grow over the next few years and decades. It’s an exciting industry with ample career opportunities for new starters or people looking to transition from almost any other sector of the economy.
As EVs are relatively new, it is possible that of the most important jobs don’t even exist yet.
There are three different parts of the EV industry that will have different workforce needs. Given the novelty of this sector, there is likely to be a sizeable research and analysis workforce that ensures ongoing innovation.
The roll out of charging infrastructure, at least in the design and planning phase, will be driven by engineers supported by project managers, with some contributions from technicians in the installation and maintenance.
The demand for engineers will include areas such as certification, compliance, testing and validation, electronics, instructional design, manufacturing, software, firmware, advanced sourcing, building services and field service.
With the transition from internal combustion engines to EVs, the role of the automotive electrician will see the most marked change. On an EV, there are far fewer moving parts and, obviously, much more expertise and knowledge of electrical systems is required (with the appropriate licenses). This workforce is expected to require both electrical and mechanical skills.
For the outside of the vehicle, there will continue to be a need for panel beaters, dent technicians and collision repairers. There will be some upskilling needed to for example remove batteries when using heat lamps to dry paints, but none of this redefines those roles.
For the internal elements, the workforce is likely to comprise some mechanical roles such as vehicle technicians, heavy vehicle diesel mechanics or vehicle development workshop leaders; and some electrical roles such as auto electricians/technicians, auto bus electricians and fleet technicians. On the front line, selling the vehicles and supporting consumers will be teams of sales professionals and customer service representatives.
The batteries workforce will have similarities with those described in battery storage careers and many of the same skills, knowledge and qualifications will be sought. This means that there is likely to be mobility between the EV and battery sector, which offers pathways from renewable energy generation as well.