Nearly 50,000 car mechanics are not qualified enough for the EV revolution, warns the NSW motor association – SmartCompany | CarTailz

The Motor Traders’ Association is calling on the NSW Government to invest in upskilling mechanics for the EV revolution.

Nearly 50,000 car mechanics in NSW are underskilled for the electric vehicle revolution, according to the Motor Traders’ Association of New South Wales (MTA NSW), which is urging the state government to pay the training bill for small car companies.

The MTA NSW, which is preparing to launch a training course later this month, puts the cost of upskilling the automotive repair and service industry to prepare for EV adoption at $100 million – a hefty bill if considering that 97% of the industry is SMEs.

The association says any car company working on electric vehicles must complete specific safety training to meet their obligations under Section 19 of the Act Occupational Health and Safety Act 2011noting that EV batteries have a high voltage of between 400 and 800 V DC.

But the cost of a full EV training course can be as high as $3,000 per person, stresses MTA NSW CEO Stavros Yallouridis, not including the cost of additional infrastructure and space needed to service EVs .

“Our industry is already struggling with a skills shortage and as we face what is arguably the biggest shift in the history of our industry, it is vital that specialist training in electric vehicle and battery maintenance is prioritized to ensure everyone’s safety as well who are working on an electric vehicle to mitigate driver risks,” said Yallouridis.

The NSW Government has pledged to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road to 52% by 2030-31. But with around 40,000 electric cars sold in Australia so far and around 20 million cars registered on our roads, there is still a long way to go.

Nearly 40% of new battery electric vehicle sales this year were for the Tesla Model 3 (8647 sales) and 25% for the Tesla Model Y (5376 sales). Other best-selling models are the Hyundai Kona (897 sales), the MG ZS EV (858 sales) and the Polestar 2 (779 sales).

Narrated by Behyad Jafari from the Electric Vehicle Council SmartCompany that skills and training are an important part of the country’s transition to electric vehicles, and “we are excited that a number of institutions are developing programs for the future of the automotive sector”.

“It’s smart business, because the more people buy electric vehicles, the more business opportunities there are along the entire value chain, including for technicians.”

However, a report by the EV Council indicated that the vehicles actually require far less maintenance than their petrol counterparts. Of the Tesla owners surveyed, 65% of respondents said they do not have an ongoing maintenance schedule (since logbook maintenance requires a gas-powered car).

Only 6% of respondents said they have their Tesla serviced every six to 12 months, 10% said every 12 to 18 months, 8% every 18 to 24 months and 10% said they see a mechanic every 24 months.

This may be because an electric motor is a self-contained unit that does not require periodic maintenance and lasts between 15 and 20 years, according to the RAC, without spark plugs, wiring, fuel and engine air filters and belts to replace in an interior vehicle with combustible Engine.

Of the Tesla drivers who calculated their maintenance savings, two in five said they saved more than $1,000 a year on repairs and maintenance for their electric vehicle compared to their previous gas-powered cars, the EV Council report finds .

The MTA is also calling on the NSW Government to implement an end-of-life strategy for ICE vehicles and a national policy to ensure vehicles are disposed of in a sustainable manner.

In addition, the MTA says the government should also develop a recycling strategy for EV batteries, which the association says can contain high levels of cobalt, copper, zinc and lithium.

It comes as the federal government prepares to launch its National Electric Vehicle Strategy, which aims to increase sales of electric vehicles in Australia by encouraging automakers to direct more low-emission vehicles into the local market.

Jafari described the strategy as “far overdue” after decades of failure by successive coalition governments to implement fuel efficiency standards to encourage automakers to produce electric vehicles.

It has resulted in Australia becoming a global laggard in technology. Of about 300 electric vehicles sold in global markets, only about 30 are currently available here, and less than 20% of the vehicles sold had a purchase price of less than $65,000, although both are expected to increase dramatically.

The Albanian government’s strategy is a sign that Australia is finally “taking a holistic approach to ensure we are ready to benefit from an accelerated EV switchover,” Jafari said.

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