The age of the internal combustion engine is coming to a close, and the electric power train has been appointed its successor. Running on electricity, battery electric vehicles (“BEVs”) produce zero emissions at the tailpipe, making them the perfect vehicle for a world hell-bent on cutting its reliance on fossil fuels and arresting the effects of runaway global warming. Consequently, several governments around the world have set targets for the phasing out of fossil fuel-powered vehicles in exchange for zero-emission electric vehicles (“EVs”).
Germany’s government, for instance, intends for the country to have registered around 7 to 10 million electric vehicles by the end of the decade. However, a new study has found that such a move would result in life-changing consequences for thousands of workers in the automotive sector. The Ifo Institute based in Munich found that, should EV adoption in Germany increase to the levels the federal government hopes for, thousands of workers would be looking down the barrel of unemployment. Done on behalf of the German Association of the Automotive Industry by the Munich-based research institution, the study shows that the move to BEVs is a multifaceted issue, and governments around the world will require creative solutions to solve the myriad of problems that will undoubtedly arise.
A statement from the Ifo Institute noted that by the middle of the decade, an estimated 75,000 production workers in Germany’s automotive sector will have retired. If the production of internal combustion engine vehicles declines to the levels mandated by current emission regulations, it may be the end of the road for at least 178,000 employees, the research institute says. These would be individuals who manufacture product groups that are directly or indirectly independent of the combustion engine, Ifo explains, adding that 137,000 of them are directly employed by Germany’s automotive industry.
According to Ifo Institute president Clemens Fuest, the transition to electric vehicles will pose a major challenge, especially to mid-sized suppliers in the automotive space. As the country transitions to BEVs, highly skilled individuals who have specialized in the combustion engine will most likely be out of a job. The director of the Ifo Center for Industrial Organization and New Technologies Oliver Flack says a systemic shift is already taking place in the supply chain as electric vehicles require different parts and components compared to combustion engine vehicles.
By offering to retrain their specialized employees, automotive companies can retain their highly skilled employees even as they abandon the internal combustion engine in exchange for the electric power train, he says.
While some jobs may inevitably be lost as the electric vehicle sector takes root, there is no doubt that the new electric vehicle industry will also create thousands if not millions of jobs directly and indirectly as sector players such as ev Transportation Services Inc. grow their operations, so prospects aren’t all doom and gloom regarding employment opportunities.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to ev Transportation Services Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/EVTS
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