By Nick Carey
LONDON (Reuters) – British luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover said on Wednesday it will retrain 29,000 employees and retailers worldwide over the next three years to design, build and service electric vehicles before they switch away from fossil-fuelled cars. .
India unit Tata Motors (NYSE:) said the majority of technicians at retailers should receive electric vehicle service training during this fiscal year to “address emerging skill gaps.”
The shift to electric vehicles means that automakers need to provide new skills to workers trained to make and maintain fossil fuel models. There are widespread concerns that fewer moving parts in electric vehicles could mean fewer well-paid manufacturing jobs in the auto industry, especially at engine or transmission plants.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said it would retrain “thousands of highly skilled automotive engineers and production staff, who previously worked on the development of internal combustion vehicles, to specialize in electric, digital and self-driving cars.”
Sales of electric cars have risen sharply in Europe over the past two years, and a ban on fossil-fuel cars means more to come. Jaguar’s luxury brand JLR will be fully electric by 2025 and the automaker will launch electric versions of its all-electric range by 2030.
JLR has developed its training materials in collaboration with Coventry University and the University of Warwick.
“Factory personnel at all levels will require training to ensure they are able to operate safely in conjunction with the high voltage systems,” JLR said.
Karl “Freddy” Gunnarsson, an engineer who worked at JLR on diesel and gasoline catalytic converters, has already been retrained and works on a team dedicated to increasing the battery density of electric vehicles to maximize the vehicle’s range.
“This (the range of electric vehicles) is what we’re going to be competing with. So in this aspect of the business you can feel the excitement until the CEO arrives,” Gunnarsson told Reuters.