5 Questions we need to be asking about Electric Cars
Anyone paying attention to the Engineering and Transport industries will have noticed that the publicity surrounding Electric and Hybrid vehicles has grown hugely of late. It’s increasingly clear that Electric Vehicles are set to play a vital role in any sustainable future, and with the EEC’s Electric Vehicles training course coming up soon, the EEC has put together 5 questions professionals working in Transport and Engineering have to start asking about the growth of Electric Cars.
1. Why is there so much hype around Electric Cars right now?
With Britain now committed to banning all Diesel and Petrol cars and vans by 2040, Electric car sales in the UK have soared. Figures released by Go Ultra Low suggested have suggested that so far this year, more than 35,000 Electric or Hybrid cars have been sold in the UK, and individuals looking to purchase an Electric Car can still get up to £4500 in subsidies from the government.
Moreover, the rise of Electric cars is prevalent in some of the world’s other largest economies; China, for example, has increased pressure on vehicle developers in the country to hasten development and research, and has raised the first-year target for a planned system of production quotas.
2. Why is “now” the time to re-focus my career to Electric Vehicles?
As outlined above, governments around the world are investing huge funds in to the development of Electric and Hybrid cars – and government funding means more career opportunities. For example, the UK government have pumped £841 million in to innovation in low-carbon transport and fuels, and funding like this will create jobs.
Following this recent governmental enthusiasm for Electric Vehicles, many car manufacturers are trying to innovate as quickly as possible to develop their own brand of Electric Cars.In addition to more established low-carbon brands such as Tesla and Toyota, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover are among those stating their intention to produced emissions free motors, and they will be looking for a skilled workforce to help them do this.
3. Where are the opportunities?
The career opportunities within the remit of Electric Vehicles are vast. As well as technical roles in engineering and manufacturing, “behind-the-scenes” roles in regulation, management and consultancy are becoming increasingly prominent within the EV sector. As with any developing technology, strong planning and advice is vital for any organisation and anyone with skills in these areas will see real employment opportunities over the coming months and years.
Moreover, Electric cars will require an increase in charging stations, and accordingly professionals will be required who can develop and implement the necessary changes to infrastructure. Although there are currently 8,476 filling stations across the UK, and Energy analysts Wood Mackenzie say they are closing at a rate of about 100 a year and will probably total only 6,000 sites by 2035. Many of these filling stations will be replaced by charging ports, and a skilled workforce will be required to carry this out.
4. Does specialising in Electric Cars limit me?
The simple answer is no. As well as the breadth of careers directly related to Electric Cars, the rise of Electric Cars is part of a far-larger change in direction that will be required of the Energy Industry as a whole. Renewable energy and energy efficiency will become even more important aspects of the energy mix, and this will present opportunities for anyone with skills in these areas. In the UK, more than half of the power generated comes from low carbon sources; with that share growing in the next 10 years, emissions from electric cars will fall too.
5. What should I do now?
If you are interested in learning more about Electric Vehicles, including their components, such as Battery Technology, Energy Storage, Recharging, Infrastructure, Financing and Development, there are still places available on the upcoming Electric Vehicles 2-day course at the University of London.
The EEC is an independent educational body which has been in operation since 1975. The EEC promotes best practice in renewable energy and energy efficiency through training courses and conferences with the United Nations (UNEP), intergovernmental organisations and 21 universities across Europe.
For more information: European Energy Centre (EEC)