The Indian automotive sector is close to a $100 billion industry, and employs over 19 million people (according to the Department of Heavy Industries). Within this is the electric vehicles (EV) sector, which is seeing a transformation with new technologies and new ways of ownership. The changes driving the sector are electric vehicles, shared mobility, autonomous driving, IoT-enabled connected vehicles, and increasing line automation in manufacturing.
The NITI Aayog expects that, by 2030, 80% of two and three-wheelers, 40% of buses, and 30 to 70% of cars will be electric vehicles. It further expects that 35% of passenger miles will be on shared vehicles. These changes will dramatically increase access to mobility for the masses. Not only will it create the need for manpower across different profiles but will also change the profile of existing employees within the sector.
We must, therefore, upskill workers to be able to work on the electric vehicle drivetrains, at the manufacturing plants and at dealerships and repair centres across the country. In fact, the shortage of mechanics and technicians for EVs is already apparent. Analysts and data scientists are also in strong demand to make sense of the ever-increasing data emerging from connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles. There is a need for more people in the research, design, and development of EV drive trains, vehicle design, and battery technology. Shared mobility companies too are looking for managerial and customer care executives across the board. Students can grab this opportunity and enroll in relevant courses, while existing employees can upskill to be ready for the EV revolution. Project work and internships in the industry will also help.
While a number of these roles can be filled by students from existing courses such as Mechanical, Chemical or Automotive engineering, Bachelor’s and Master’s in Science, MBAs, and so on, some roles require specialised training.
IIT-Delhi offers new M.Tech. courses in Electric Mobility from this academic session, while IIT-Roorkee and IIT-Kharagpur and UPES (University of Petroleum and Energy Studies) are launching similar programmes. The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning(NPTEL) already offer short training and online courses in EV. The Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) has launched an Electric Mobility Nanodegree course in association with DIYguru and a training programme called Dakshta in partnership with MG Motor and Autobot India. Others who offer courses and training include Marwadi University, GISE, Devise Electronics, Decibel Lab, Ready for Future, EMF Innovations, MakerMax Inc., EV Training by Amika Global Education, Manifold EV Training and Certification Programme, Tesla EV Academy, Pragyatmika, Haritha TechLogix, Logiczap Technologies, SkillShark EduTech, Prudent Consultants, and Academy of EV Technology.
Graduates can start working in vehicle manufacture and parts design, thermal management, firmware development for a battery management system, Analytics data scientist, and so on. Entry-level jobs vary from shop floor assemblers and fitters, shop floor managers, researchers in-cell technology and drive trains, drive train and vehicle designers, data scientists and software engineers for battery management, and vehicle management, and so on. There is a need for maintenance engineers, component designers, and electrical engineers for work on motors, controllers, and other components of EVs.
In India, there is an increasing demand for EV engineers in Design Development, Analytics Data Scientists, Researchers on battery chemistry, systems engineers to work on battery management systems and EV mechanical engineers. There is a very strong demand for blue-collar mechanics in India at the moment.
The writer is founder and CEO, VA-YU