EU report on the impact of electric vehicles in European manufacturing

Friday, June 1, 2018

“Electric vehicles: Shifting gear or changing direction?” is a case study by the EU agency Eurofound within their project Future of Manufacturing in Europe. The study is focused on the impact of electric vehicles for the European vehicle manufacturing industry.

Swedish Electromobility Centre played a key role in the execution of the study by offering knowledge about, and contacts to, the Swedish vehicle industry. The Centre hosted a workshop at Chalmers with representatives from the west Sweden vehicle cluster, which contributed to the findings. The participants were Michael Östberg, Alelion, Hans Fogelberg, Region Västra Götaland, Hans-Olof Dahlberg, Swedish Energy Agency, Pontus Andreasson, Volvo, JC Persson from ETC Battery and FuelCells, and the Swedish Electromobility Centre’s Director Elna Holmberg and electric vehicle expert Magnus Karlström.

The study concludes that the production of the electric drivetrain and the batteries of electric vehicles will lead to changes both in the production line and in the value chain. The transition to electric vehicles and changes in the value chain will influence tasks and jobs and the demand for skills. Manufacturing of electric vehicles requires a wide range of engineers, for example power electronics. The required new skills are often related to using new materials, producing and developing the batteries, increased use of IT, and designing and operating the production process itself, for example process engineering. In addition, skills are required to integrate new technology into vehicles. Multidisciplinary skill sets such as mechatronics are going to be an asset.

Production and uptake of electric vehicles will also lead to new occupations outside the manufacturing industry. The establishment of charging infrastructures creates new jobs in energy, construction and service sectors.

The study also concludes that public and public-private actions and strategies for promoting the transition to Electric vehicles require collaboration between the industry and higher education institutions to ensure that the high-qualified skills needed will be distributed.

Read the study Electric vehicles: Shifting gear or changing direction?

Future of Manufacturing in Europe, FOME is a pilot project proposed by the European Parliament and delegated to Eurofound by the European Commission. The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency, whose role is to provide knowledge in the area of social, employment and workrelated policies.