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Concerns about the safety of electric car charging stations

With electric car sales soaring, concerns have been raised about the safety of charging stations installed in homes, offices and on streets across the country.

Adequate training is lacking when it comes to installing and maintaining EV chargers, which could have “disastrous consequences,” according to a City & Guilds report.

A survey of 500 UK electricians found that 99 per cent understood that working at charge points posed major risks.

Despite the danger, only 28 percent said they had undergone special training for them.

Concerns about the safety of electric vehicle charging stations: A study by certification body City & Guilds found that 72% of electricians are not trained to work on the devices

The skills award body found that three-quarters of electricians believe they are likely to seek work installing or repairing electric vehicle charging stations over the next 12 months due to the rise of zero-emission cars on the roads ahead of the 2030 sales ban for new petrol and diesel vehicles.

This “shows a clear risk” unless companies ensure their employees have the necessary training, skills, knowledge and experience to safely install, repair and maintain EV charging stations.

City & Guilds says its research uses results from a leaked audit report released last June It found that one-fifth (18 percent) of installations under the government’s now-defunct Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) had dangerous or potentially dangerous problems between 2020 and 2021.

These include examples of poor wiring during installation and defects in the specific RCDs in chargers designed to reduce the risk of electric shock.

The leaked report, prepared for the Department of Transportation by the Center of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies in conjunction with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, says only a third (32 percent) of the 371 installations audited were satisfactorily completed.

City & Guilds chief executive David Phillips said the speed at which the transition to electric vehicles is taking place will put tremendous pressure on electricians to install and repair equipment.

Electric car sales in the first six months of the year are already 58 percent higher than the same period in 2021, according to the latest industry figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Around 115,250 electric vehicles have been registered since January, accounting for almost 15 percent of all new cars purchased so far this year.

Only three in ten (28%) UK electricians surveyed said they had undergone specific training to work on electric car charging points

Only three in ten (28%) UK electricians surveyed said they had undergone specific training to work on electric car charging points

Around 371 audits of home charger installations were recently carried out on behalf of the DfT. Only one third was completed satisfactorily

Around 371 audits of home charger installations were recently carried out on behalf of the DfT. Only one third was completed satisfactorily

“With the government setting a new target to increase the number of electric car chargers tenfold to 300,000 by 2030, electricians will need to upskill quickly to safely handle the workload – but right now, training simply isn’t available nationwide, and there is her.” There’s no impetus to do it,” Phillips said.

“We need the industry to recognize this safety issue and ensure that these EV charging points are standardized and installed safely to avoid a potential disaster in the near future.”

Record surge in EV-qualified mechanics – but experts predict it won’t be enough by 2028

In addition to safety concerns surrounding the installation of charging points, the Institute of the Automotive Industry (IMI) has for years raised concerns about the likely shortage of qualified mechanics to work on the electric cars themselves towards the end of the decade.

The broader conversion to battery-powered and electric motor vehicles will be of particular importance for independent workshop operators, whose technicians have to relearn the trade almost completely and complete a new training course in order to qualify.

The latest report revealed that the first three months of 2022 saw the highest quarterly increase in EV qualified technicians on record, with 28,000 additional mechanics now confirmed to carry out repair work on these cars

The Institute of the Motor Industry has grappled with the likely shortage of qualified mechanics to work on electric cars as we near the year 2030 for years

The Institute of the Motor Industry has grappled with the likely shortage of qualified mechanics to work on electric cars as we near the year 2030 for years

Despite a record number of mechanics qualifying to work on electric vehicles this year, IMI expects there will be a shortage of trained technicians by 2028 as electric car sales soar

Despite a record number of mechanics qualifying to work on electric vehicles this year, IMI expects there will be a shortage of trained technicians by 2028 as electric car sales soar

But the data suggests there will be a shortage of licensed technicians to service, repair and MOT service the number of electric cars expected to be on the roads by 2028.

Steve Nash, CEO of IMI, says that at the end of 2021 only 11 percent of all mechanics in the country were qualified to work on electric vehicles, but by the end of March that number had risen to 13 percent.

‘Based on SMMT EV sales forecasts, the shortage between EVs on the UK’s roads and approved technicians is now likely to be felt 24 months later than we predicted last year [2026].

“Additionally, early indications are that the second quarter numbers will set another new record, which is great news for the industry and for the growing number of EV drivers.”

Earlier this month it was confirmed that over half a million fully electric cars have now been sold in the UK.

The green milestone comes after the government ended subsidies for buying an electric car [the Plug-in Car Grant] and the cost of installing a home charging station (EVHS).

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Concerns about the safety of electric car charging stations

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