Jaguar Land Rover Boosts EV Mechanic Training to Tackle High Repair Costs

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Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has embarked on an extensive training programme to equip thousands of mechanics with the skills needed to service electric vehicles (EVs), addressing concerns over a skills shortage that is driving up repair costs for EV drivers.

On Thursday, JLR announced that it has trained 95% of the mechanics at its affiliated garages to handle EVs, a move that encompasses over 10,000 individuals globally. This includes 1,651 mechanics across 136 JLR workshops in the UK. Additionally, the company is training around 2,400 factory workers in Britain in EV production methods.

This initiative coincides with JLR’s preparations to launch the first all-electric Range Rover later this year. Presently, only one in five car mechanics are trained to service EVs, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry, which allows garages with EV expertise to charge higher fees. This has led to increased insurance premiums for EV owners, with the average premium reaching £1,344 at the end of 2023, roughly double the cost of insurance for petrol cars, according to insurance broker Howden.

JLR anticipates launching the electrified Range Rover before the year’s end, with deliveries expected by 2025. Trials of the vehicle are currently underway in Sweden’s Arctic regions. The company plans to electrify its entire vehicle lineup by 2030. Barbara Bergmeier, JLR’s Executive Director of Industrial Operations, stated: “The realisation of our strategy is dependent on the skill of our people, and a more diverse workforce brings additional strength.”

In an effort to enhance supply chain resilience, JLR is bringing production of some EV components in-house. The company will produce its own electric drive units in Wolverhampton and utilise batteries manufactured in Somerset by sister company Agratas, which is also part of the Tata 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 significant challenges when an overhaul of its parts supply network caused severe delays at garages, leaving 5,000 cars off the road awaiting repairs. The company provided courtesy cars and announced in February that the bottlenecks were beginning to ease.

Separately, industry figures released on Wednesday indicated that UK car production fell for the second consecutive month in April, as manufacturers continue to transition to new electric models. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 61,820 cars were built last month, a 7% decrease compared to the previous year. Mike Hawes, SMMT’s Chief Executive, noted: “Another month of falling UK car production was expected given the significant transformation underway within factories as manufacturers retool to produce new models.”

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