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Only 3pc of HGV technicians in UK are qualified to work on high voltage systems

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) in the UK has raised concerns over the “severe lack” of electric vehicle trained heavy vehicle technicians, which could undermine EV adoption in all areas of HGVs, including public transport.

Current IMI analysis suggests just three per cent of HGV technicians in the UK are trained to work on vehicles with high voltage systems.

Steve Nash, chief executive of the IMI said that while there are signs that employers are stepping up the pace to support an electric transition, the shortage of qualified EV technicians in the HGV sector remains a concern.

“Our latest analysis reveals that the shortfall in qualified EV technicians in the HGV sector is of even greater concern than that faced by the passenger vehicle and light commercial vehicle (LCV) markets,” he said.

“With the need to meet the Government’s HGV decarbonisation pledge – and a big ramp-up in EV adoption already occurring in the public transport space – there is a huge risk that there simply won’t be the skilled workforce to work on high voltage vehicle systems.

“This could severely undermine the logistics and public transport sectors and the last thing the UK needs is another crisis in goods supplies.”

According to figures from Logistics UK, there are in the country about 30,000 mechanics, technicians and fitters working on HGVs, trailers and PSVs, with over 4,000 vacancies currently waiting to be filled, which is 35 per cent higher than before the pandemic.

Add to this, analysis from the IMI shows that just three per cent of heavy vehicle technicians are currently EV trained.

Mr Nash added that the scale of the challenges the HGV sector face are “beyond worrying”.

“The electrification of the public transport network is a key component in the UK’s mission to reduce emissions in towns and cities,” he said.

“But this ambition could be severely undermined unless focus is put on EV training for those who will need to work on these vehicles – and other HGVs.

“We are already lobbying government for more funding to support the necessary training and we are also working with government agencies to suggest ways in which they could help to alleviate the severe recruitment issues.”