New data has revealed significant fluctuations across the country in the ability of motor mechanics qualified to work on electric vehicles.

The research from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) shows that in different parts of the country there is a wide disparity in EV qualified technicians and mechanics. In some areas less than 2% of mechanics have been trained to work on EVs.

The findings have been published in Electric Evolution: Examining the Triumphs, Trials and Roadblocks of the UK’s Electric Vehicle Aftermarket.

The study compares the percentage of technicians qualified to work on EVs with the total number of technicians in employment. Only 7 local authorities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have 10% or more technicians qualified to work on electric vehicles. Over 150 authorities have less than 2% of technicians with the necessary qualifications to work safely on EVs.

The top local authorities with EV technicians were Croydon (18.9%), Redditch (14.4%) and West Lancashire (11.5%). The areas of the UK where there were the fewest were Thanet, the Shetland Islands, Rossendale, and Redcar and Cleveland (all with 0.2%).

“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,” said 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.”

The study also looked at the number of qualified technicians in parts of the UK where there was the greatest density of publicly accessible EV charging stations. It found, worryingly, that in every local authority with the most public charge points, less than 2% of mechanics were EV-qualified.

The IMI is currently predicting that 77,000 IMI TechSafe qualified technicians will be required by 2030, increasing to 89,000 by 2032.