The consequences of the energy transition of the automotive industry at work | economy
The end of the sale of thermal cars in Europe from 2035 will not be without consequences to work in the automotive sector.
The ban on the sale of cars with gasoline or diesel engines on the European market also affects electrified thermal engines: hybrid cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The electric car facilitates the arrival of Chinese manufacturers in Europe with “Made in China” electric cars.
The electric car “cancels out” the technological advantage that European, Japanese, Korean and American car manufacturers have in thermal engines compared to Chinese manufacturers.
The design of a good heat engine requires a lot of skill and expertise just that machine manufacturers possess
The European emission standards in relation to internal combustion engines constitute barriers to entry into the European market that discourage the invasion of “Made in China” vehicles.
Developing a heat engine for European environmental standards is expensive.
The ban on combustion engines in Europe reshuffled the cards of the automotive sector.
The heart of the electric car is the high voltage battery. And when it comes to high-voltage batteries, incumbent automakers are lagging behind the accumulated expertise of Chinese automakers.
Some Chinese manufacturers started producing high-voltage batteries before producing electric vehicles, such as the first Chinese car manufacturer BYD.
BYD is currently one of the world’s leading producers of electric vehicles along with Tesla.
The high voltage battery represents about 40% of the additional cost of the electric vehicle and most of the rare earths needed to make high-voltage batteries are found in China.
Technically, an electric motor is simple in design and manufacture. It consists of several parts and requires little labor. To build a heat engine, five people are needed, against only three for electric. Building an electric motor requires 60% less labor than building a heat engine.
It takes 40% less manpower to produce an electric car compared to a thermal car.
Electric mobility will affect the entire automotive sector, from design to maintenance, including production, distribution and repair.
Electric mobility will move the production of electric cars to China, at the expense of European car production.
The phenomenon of relocation of European electric car manufacturing has already begun: the electric Dacia Spring, the Smart #1 and the electric BMW iX3 are produced in China.
Much of the expected production disruption is related to the sale of Chinese electric cars in the European market.
The offensive of Chinese automakers in the European market is underway.
In the field, MG took the lead. MG is establishing itself in Europe with the electric MG 4. The Chinese MG electric compact sedan is at the heart of the European market. Its affordable price allows European motorists to access the electric car at a reasonable price.
Byd, Ora and Wey (Great Wall Motors / GWM) started their offensives on the European market recently and the models presented were less accessible than the MG 4.
In the short term (2025), Chinese car manufacturers may exceed the threshold of 500,000 electric vehicles sold in Europe.
The import of 500,000 electric cars from China by 2025 is not without consequences for automotive employment in the old continent.
Especially since the production of European and American “Made in China” electric cars (BMW iX3 electric, Dacia Spring electric, Mini Aceman electric, Smart #1 electric, Smart #3 electric, Tesla Model 3 electric) is could represent 300,000 electric cars by 2025.
The automotive sector has around 2,200,000 jobs in France (including equipment manufacturers and distributors), in production, maintenance, repair, technical inspection and distribution.
Energy transfer will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the European automotive industry, especially in the assembly of vehicles and professions will disappear, especially in the production of thermal engines, a sector alone with 57,000 employees. The Gowork site allows you to get opinions on companies and exchange experiences with different companies.
In France, up to 100,000 jobs are believed to be at risk in the automotive industry by 2035. The Gowork site provides access to reviews from well-known companies and various aspects of working in the automotive industry.
Along with this, the production of electric motors and batteries are all opportunities to move part of the production of the automotive industry to Europe.
Of new professions will appear or evolve in the automotive industry over several years.
Analysis of trades that will create or redefine electric mobility (Source: Mobileese electric mobility firm):
– Qualified electrician for installation of charging stations: high power, power size constraints, issues of prudence in the use of consumables (such as copper for cables). This profession has a high demand for the deployment of charging infrastructure, which is set to grow significantly over the next 10 years.
– Retrofitter: profession that aims to change a thermal vehicle to an electric vehicle to change the engine without separating from its vehicle.
– Electric vehicle trainer: work aimed at explaining the characteristics and how to use an electric vehicle when delivering it to the customer.
– Winder in electrical equipment: motor, transformer, etc. Coils are key components of many electronic devices. Designing and optimizing them, using new materials, offers prospects for the future.
– Works supervisor: energy transfer infrastructures are complex and involve several professions. An experienced pilot is essential. This job requires good listening, organization and diplomacy skills.
– Cable fitter: essential manual trade for making electric vehicles.
– Safety engineer / cybersecurity: combines electrical and software security challenges, etc. An important profession for secure infrastructures.
– Technician / Engineer Design office: to design a charging infrastructure, study is mandatory by a certified design office.
– Maintenance technician: a reliable infrastructure, whose operation is prolonged at the lowest cost, is essential. Optimized maintenance is the key to longevity.
Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay