Finding an EV-qualified technician is a postcode lottery

Electric car

New analysis reveals that big gaps in availability of technicians qualified to work on electric vehicles could undermine consumer confidence

Research by The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has revealed significant gaps in qualified technicians to work on electric vehicles. The findings, published in a report titled Electric Evolution: Examining the Triumphs, Trials and Roadblocks of the UK’s Electric Vehicle Aftermarket’, show that despite an increase in EV training in the last year, qualified technician availability is still inconsistent across the UK, presenting an underlying risk to the government’s decarbonisation plans.

The analysis looked at the proportion of technicians EV qualified compared to the total technician workforce in each UK local authority. Only 7 local authorities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have 10% or more technicians qualified to work on electric vehicles. Worryingly more than 150 local authorities have less than 2% of technicians with the necessary qualifications to work safely on electric vehicles.


“Our data reveals the greatest proportion of EV qualified technicians in the automotive aftermarket workforce in some obvious locations such as London and the South East”, explained Emma Carrigy, Research Manager at the IMI.  “However, it is a concern that there are also some big gaps in much of the central part of England as well as a number of London Boroughs.”

With electric vehicles predicted by Auto Trader to make up a quarter of the total UK car parc by 2030, the number of technicians qualified to work safely on the new drivetrain is set to fall short of what is required unless significant investment is made in training as a matter of urgency. The IMI is currently predicting that 77,000 IMI TechSafe qualified technicians will be required by 2030, increasing to 89,000 by 2032.

Proportion of those with EV TechSafe of all Technicians by Local Authority

EV Technicians

The IMI also analysed the availability of EV qualified technicians in relation to where the greatest number of public charge points are located – a good indication of workforce matched to demand.  Again, there are some serious gaps. 

“Whilst the top two local authorities for public charge points – Westminster and City of London - probably don’t have a huge demand for technicians, the fact that all other local authorities with the most public charge points have less than 2% of their automotive workforce qualified to work on electric vehicles could seriously damage public confidence and undermine the transition to zero”, added Emma Carrigy.

“However this issue can be addressed.  There are more than 235 centres in the IMI network that can deliver EV qualifications, providing a significant opportunity to fill the skills gap and keep technicians safe.”

The technician vs charge point mismatch

Charge points vs technicians

Technicians who have met the IMI TechSafe standards – endorsed by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) – can showcase their credentials by joining the IMI’s industry-wide Professional Register. The Register lists individual members – and their place of work – who have been recognised for their achievements, experience, professionalism and commitment to a Professional Standard of behaviours, and for keeping their knowledge and skills up to date through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Drivers of EVs can access the Register online for free, to find local qualified EV technicians and garages.

Check out the full Electric Evolution report here.