Electric Cars Create Jobs

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted July 5, 2012

A new study out of Germany examines employment prospects within the automotive sector, devoting special attention to the emergence of alternative drive trains.

The ELAB study (in German: “Effects of the Powertrain Electrification on Employment and the Business Environment”) was accomplished through a joint venture that involved Daimler AG’s General Works Council, IG Metall Baden-Württemberg, and the Hans Böckler Foundation. Research was carried out primarily by the Fraunhofer IAO, IMU Institute, and the German Aerospace Center’s Institute for Vehicle Concepts.

The study focuses on four future market scenarios, each looking at a unique mixture of various drivetrain concepts. The six drive concepts under study were the mild hybrid, full hybrid (with plug-in version), range extender, all-electric vehicles with battery or fuel cell, and vehicles with combustion engines.

The study envisions current developments to permeate the market by around 2030. Thus, it took one “most likely” scenario as a reference, and developed three other versions around that. Each proposition involves a different route of progress from conventional engines to different “green” developments.

Green Car Congress quotes Professor Dieter Spath, Head of Institute Fraunhofer IAO:

“With regard to the electrification of the powertrain, jobs will not only be created in research and development, but also in manufacturing. Powertrain manufacturers capable of producing conventional and also non-conventional powertrain components competitively will be able to count on at least steady employment in each of the analyzed market scenarios.”

Every scenario used projected rapid increases in the shares of alternative drivetrains alongside continued relevance of combustion engines, creating a very heterogenous market. Overall, the study concludes, there will be transformative changes occurring within the automotive value chain.

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