Warrantywise warns not enough technicians to work on EVs

Aftermarket used car warranty firm Warrantywise CEO Lawrence Whittaker has warned that the UK needs to invest in EV talent or risk a lack of EV technicians.
Warrantywise warns not enough technicians to work on EVs
Lawrence Whittaker, CEO of Warrantywise. Courtesy of Warrantywise.

Lawrence Whittaker, CEO at Warrantywise, has voiced his concern publicly that there are not enough technicians to fix EVs when they go wrong or maintain them for the future. It seems Mr Whittaker first raised this matter in March 2022 and it still hasn’t been resolved since then, nor is he seeing any progress on solving it currently either.

“Despite Rishi Sunak's recent decision to delay the ban of new petrol and diesel vehicles until 2035, a delay of five years on the previous plan, it remains evident that the UK will still likely face a shortage of EV technicians by that time” Mr Whittaker said. “I’ve heard arguments from OEMs, comments from all areas of the automotive and transport industry about how we need a cohesive strategy about the EV implementation and ICE ban. However, no-one is talking about the fact that, regardless of this date moving, we don’t have the talent to look after the EVs of today, and we’re not doing enough to prepare for the future… Regardless of if that’s 2030 or 2035.”

Mr Whittaker said that the concern is coming partly from the The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) who issued a report in June this year which said there will be a potential shortage of 25,000 qualified TechSafe technicians by 2032. By 2030 the IMI predicts that we’ll need 107,000 TechSafe-certified technicians to work with EVs, a figure that’s expected to increase to 139,000 by 2032. Although this may seem achievable, the IMI’s adjusted forecasts have drawn attention to a potential shortage of 20,000 EV technicians by 2030, inflating to 36,000 by 2032.

“As a CEO working in the industry, and as someone invested personally and professionally, I’ve been doing some more reading in this area” added Mr Whittaker. “One report to note is from the Climate Change Committee who predicts the number of EVs in the UK will increase from 1.1 million recorded in early 2023 to 28 million by 2035, with the UK government’s ban on the sale of new cars with an internal combustion engine (ICE) likely the main factor for this unprecedented growth. This increase in EV ownership is further highlighted as a fifth [20 per cent] of all new cars registered in August 2023 were battery electric vehicles (BEV), an astonishing 72 per cent increase from August 2022. With more new EV sales, that also increases the number of used EVs available. For our company, we’ve sold more EV warranties over the first half of this year [January to June 2023] than in the whole of 2022. If you look at the trend and warranty sales in the past three years, it’s doubled year on year, which means it should only go one way – up!”

More used EVs available means there will be more need for used EV technicians. However the Climate Change Comittee (CCC) report doesn’t show that the supply of technicians is keeping up with demand. In fact, 14,800 skilled technicians were certified in 2022, increasing the number of qualified technicians trained to work safely with EVs to 39,000, accounting for 16 per cent of all technicians in the UK – but that still isn’t enough.

The IMI has collaborated with Garage Industry Trends to explore whether the Department for Transport’s consultation for extending a new car’s first MOT from three years to four would be beneficial based on rapid technological development in the automotive field including the growth in the use of alternatively fuelled vehicles. Contrary to what the public may believe, research shows that EVs are indeed less complicated to maintain ‘mechanically speaking’ than cars that run on petrol or diesel, they just need technicians capable of taking care of them.

However, EVs are more complex due to the additional technology, versus a traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car. It is this additional technology, hardware and software, that causes them to go wrong in different ways than ICE vehicles. That’s why EVs will always require trained, certified, technicians to work on them and maintain them.

“Yet, despite a push from the UK government including education regulators such as Ofqual, SQA, CCEA, and Qualifications Wales, IMI warns current economic pressures may result in cuts to funds usually available for training, leading to fewer businesses investing in the necessary TechSafe qualification for its technicians” Mr Whittaker said.

The IMI concludes that growing economic pressures are having an unprecedented impact on businesses, leaving less money to spend on training technicians. However, another reason could be that the automotive industry’s vacancy rate currently stands at 26,000 unfilled positions.

TechSafe qualification is crucial for EV repairs, but technicians also have to undergo continuous professional development to keep up with the rapidly evolving technology. This takes time and investment, but the number of trained professionals isn’t matching the exponential growth of the industry.

For additional information:


Baterías con premio en la gran feria europea del almacenamiento de energía
El jurado de la feria ees (la gran feria europea de las baterías y los sistemas acumuladores de energía) ya ha seleccionado los productos y soluciones innovadoras que aspiran, como finalistas, al gran premio ees 2021. Independientemente de cuál o cuáles sean las candidaturas ganadoras, la sola inclusión en este exquisito grupo VIP constituye todo un éxito para las empresas. A continuación, los diez finalistas 2021 de los ees Award (ees es una de las cuatro ferias que integran el gran evento anual europeo del sector de la energía, The smarter E).