Electric cars: 12% less work for…

The to turn around the electric car is started. Since this month of October 2022, there is no more suspense, the Member States of the Union as well as the MEPs definitely having registered the end of the heat engine in 1er January 2035. As we know, this tip towards the electric car will likely be sorebecause we cannot say that we are ahead of schedule: electric cars remain very (too) expensive, supply sources are currently limited (especially for lithium) while the public charging network is also embryonic .

O transition and therefore forced and in particular through taxation which is entirely up to the companies to ensure this transition. Indeed, the deductibility thermal cars will quickly be reduced to a trickle within three or four years (50% deductibility in 2026, 25% in 2027 and 0% later) while electric cars will remain interesting until at least 2031 (from 100% it will drop to 67 .5%). This rather rapid transition will therefore put more pressure on theto use and theeconomic activity of all one ecosystem who has lived for decades on the maintenance of internal combustion engines: the mechanics and repairmen.

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A social bloodbath?

Certain voices are already being raised in this context, announcing a social bloodbath in the area. Because, it is known, a electric car need less interventions : no oil and therefore no oil change, no clutch, less wear on the brakes, etc. Several studies have already been carried out to try to assess the impact of this paradigm shift: the French observatory of automotive service professions had estimated in 2020 that 130,000 jobs it could be lost in Germany by 2036, 30,000 in France and up to 4,000 in Belgium !

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And that’s not all: the PWC consultant also went there from his study this summer, predicting a loss of up to 500,000 jobs by 2040 Only in Europe. In the home of Traxio, the federation of automotive trades, we are obviously also concerned about the situation and we also try to predict the drop in speed. The federation recognizes that there is indeed a huge risk that the adoption of the electric car leads to big job losses.

In an attempt to evaluate things as best as possible, Traxio relied on the ICDP statistics, an international organization specializing in automobile distribution and after-sales. The analysis delivered teaches us that the operations of maintenance and repairs to electric vehicles can decrease by 45% compared to their thermal counterparts, a deficit that could not be filled by the increase in the replacement of tires (+20%) that are more consumed by battery-powered cars due to greater torque and greater weight.

6% less turnover by 2030?

First, it is obvious that a mass of new electric cars will come to our market. And whoever says new car also says car with fewer problems or repairs, which will inevitably lead to a intervention reduction in garages. Traxio believes that decrease at the 12% until 2030 (from 1.35 passes to the garage per year on average, we would increase to 1.12 passes).

In absolute terms, 12% might not seem like a lot, but that’s because between now and 2030they eletric cars must represent 23% of the vehicle fleet Belgian vehicles, while 57% would continue to be thermal vehicles – the rest would be hybrid cars. Traxio therefore believes that this is just a beginning and that eventually it will be thousands of jobs that will be threatenedbut it is still impossible to quantify them precisely.

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What future jobs in the sector?

This also raises the question of industry transformation and in particular specialized profiles. Of course, there will always be mechanics, because changing dampers, brakes and other consumables will always be relevant, but they should still go down drastically.

Furthermore, the development of driver assistance systems should also make it possible to reduce the number of accidents, which should also reduce the activity of bodybuilders. According to the ICDP, the eletric cars and its embedded technologies should enable reduce the number of accidents by 16% from here 2030 and 22% the need for repairs.

With this, Traxio believes that the automotive trade must change significantly and that, from repairing or selling cars, the sector will have to transform itself into mobility provider and probably also certifiers, for example, to check the health of a battery (State of Health or SOH). And mechanics will also need to upgrade their skills to become more electricians.

Given the speed of the transition, it is therefore necessary to start transforming the industry now. But here too it seems that little is said about it and this anticipation is not in order. A pity, because it puts thousands of jobs at risk and will also lead to labor shortages in this emerging sector. However, is it so difficult to bring together all the actors in a sector, organize and act? Apparently so…

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