Jaguar Land Rover is increasing training for EV technicians to tackle high repair costs

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has embarked on an extensive training program to equip thousands of technicians with the skills needed to service electric vehicles (EVs). This addresses concerns about a skills shortage driving up repair costs for EV drivers.

On Thursday, JLR announced that it has trained 95% of technicians in its affiliated garages to handle electric vehicles, a move that will involve more than 10,000 people worldwide. This includes 1,651 technicians across 136 JLR workshops across the UK. In addition, the company is training approximately 2,400 factory workers in Britain in electric vehicle production methods.

This initiative coincides with JLR's preparations to launch the first fully electric Range Rover later this year. Currently, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry, only one in five car mechanics is trained to service electric vehicles, meaning garages with EV expertise can charge higher costs. This has led to higher insurance premiums for EV owners, with the average premium at the end of 2023 reaching £1,344, around double the cost of insurance for petrol cars, according to insurance broker Howden.

JLR expects to launch the electrified Range Rover before the end of the year, with deliveries expected in 2025. The vehicle is currently undergoing trials in the Swedish Arctic. The company plans to electrify its entire vehicle range by 2030. Barbara Bergmeier, Executive Director of Industrial Operations at JLR, said: “The delivery of our strategy depends on the skills of our people, and a more diverse workforce provides additional strength.”

In an effort to increase supply chain resilience, JLR is bringing the production of a number of EV components in-house. The company will produce its own electric drive units in Wolverhampton and use batteries manufactured in Somerset by sister company Agratas, which is also part of Tata's industrial empire. JLR is also exploring opportunities to produce other components such as inverters, transmissions, battery packs, battery cells and battery control modules.

Last year, JLR faced major challenges when an overhaul of its parts network caused serious delays at garages, leaving 5,000 cars off the road awaiting repairs. The company provided replacement vehicles and announced in February that the bottlenecks were beginning to be removed.

In addition, industry figures released on Wednesday indicated that UK car production fell for the second month in a row in April as manufacturers continue to switch to new electric models. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 61,820 cars were built last month, down 7% on the previous year. Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of SMMT, commented: “Another month of declining car production in the UK was expected, given the significant transformation underway within factories as manufacturers begin a renewed effort to produce new models.”

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