The electric car is something that’s been talked about for decades, but it’s only recently that they’ve started to gain traction in motoring markets around the world. The charge has been led by disruptors like Tesla, but established names like Ford, Volkswagen and Renault all have their own electric vehicles available. Battery efficiency is increasing each year, costs are declining, and the British government has outlined plans to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars altogether.
In other words, when it comes to the electric car, it’s a question of when rather than if. What’s more, the ‘when’ might be sooner than we think, thanks to the exponential spread of the technology. As soon as an electric car becomes better than the petrol-driven equivalent, and it’s available for the same price, we might see a rapid shift in ownership.
Are Mechanics Going to be Out of a Job?
So what does this mean for the professionals whose job it is to maintain and repair existing internal-combustion engines? There are around eighty thousand vehicle repair businesses in the UK, which collectively contribute billions to the economy and keep hundreds of thousands of workers in employment.
Still, there’s reason for optimism.
Older vehicles aren’t going to disappear overnight. It will take a period of several years for most motorists to make the switch. Moreover, there will likely be a long-tail trickle of stubborn motorists who’ll resist making the switch until there are literally no petrol stations left to fill at.
During this transition period, it’s vital that mechanics take the time to retrain themselves, picking up what’s required. As it stands, just a tiny minority of mechanics have the skills necessary to work with electric cars.
While it might be some time before electric cars become the norm, there’s still a significant financial incentive on offer for those seeking to pick up the skills early. Professionals with these skills are in high demand, and this demand is only likely to increase with adoption. Get ahead of the curve, in other words, and you stand to benefit substantially!
As well as retraining, garages might find themselves having to invest in new equipment and tools. The essential toolboxes used by mechanics might be stuffed with devices designed to diagnose problems with high-capacity batteries and alternators.
The electric car might bring us widespread improvements in reliability, as there are fewer components under the hood of every given vehicle, which means fewer things to go wrong. Another factor that’s likely to aid reliability is the prevalence of driver-assistance technology, which will reduce the likelihood of collisions, and even minimise the impact of wear-and-tear through AI-assisted acceleration, steering and braking.