Supercharge Your Future
- April 18, 2023
- Posted by: growthhive
This past February 15, the White House announced its goal of creating a convenient, reliable, and Made-in-America electric vehicle (EV) charging network so that the Great American Road Trip can be electrified. This initiative will help to confront the climate crisis by building a national network of 500,000 EV charging stations along America’s highways and in communities, as well as have EVs make up at least 50% of new car sales by 2030, all while advancing an industrial policy to continue expanding the domestic EV production and charging industries.
This White House initiative also means that tomorrow’s job landscape for automotive technicians will not look like today’s. Educators must work with industry to provide students with opportunities to learn the technical skills needed to work on EVs. Project-based EV STEM education is key, with classes and programs tied to tomorrow’s technologies. Educators must look ahead and identify the technologies that are coming.
EV technology is on the road today. Tesla is in the lead, while every other car maker in the world is investing big dollars to catch up. In 2020, EVs (combining numbers for all-electric and hybrid models) made up about 2.5% of worldwide car sales. By 2029 that number will climb to 25%, and it will exceed 50% by 2035, the year General Motors has targeted for achieving a completely electric product line.
By the end of this decade, millions of jobs will be related to manufacturing, maintaining, and repairing EVs. The people who fill those jobs will need new skills, because virtually everything in an EV powertrain is different from what is found in an IC-engine. Tomorrow’s EV workforce, our students, will need to understand complex battery and recharging technologies, high performance electric engines, and completely new types of transmissions. Even suspension systems and tires will change because EVs are much lighter and last longer.
For this transition to work, it is critical for educators to collaborate with organizations like the Energy Discovery Zone that understands EV industry standards, and develop programs and courses that will start students on the pathway to careers as EV technicians. While it is important for automakers to ramp up production to meet growing consumer demand for EVs, innovative schools committed to STEM education need to shift their resources to ensure that there are enough quality professionals to meet the needs for producing EVs and keeping them in top working order.