Electric cars threaten 75,000 jobs

The automotive industry has 840,000 jobs in Germany. Of these, 210,000 are associated with engine production, according to the Fraunhofer Institute of Industrial Engineering, which conducted the survey. The development of non-exhaust-free vehicles creates some new jobs in electronics and vehicle batteries, but electric cars will result in less work for assembly workers, warned German workers union IG Metall.

“By 2030, every second job in passenger cars will be directly or indirectly affected by electrification,” the union said, referring to the survey, which was based on data provided by Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen and their suppliers Bosch, ZF and Schaeffler.

“Politicians and industry now need to develop strategies to manage this conversion,” said IG Metall chief Gerg Hoffman. Companies need to launch drastic retraining plans to educate workers on new technologies, while politicians need to think about a comprehensive industry and employment policy, Hoffman noted.

The 75,000 jobs threatened are calculated on the assumption that 25% of all cars will be electric by 2030, 15% hybrid and 60% will be powered by gasoline and diesel.
A faster adoption of electric vehicles could threaten 100,000 jobs, according to IG Metall.

Volkswagen’s senior spokesman, Byrd Oosterloch, said that electric car engines only have one-sixth of its components compared to other fuel-powered cars, which means that electric cars can be assembled more quickly. Electric cars need 30% less time to assemble than current passenger cars, Osterloch added.

A battery manufacturing plant only needs one-fifth of the workforce compared to an engine plant, he concluded. At the same time BMW spokesman Peter Camerrer said German industry should pay attention to the transfer of technology and know-how to Chinese, Korean and Japanese competitors. Germany has a leading role in research into battery development, but gives battery contracts to foreign suppliers, Camerre noted.

“We need to sell innovations to the Chinese and not vice versa,” Camerre concluded