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Comment: Electric cars are the key to ending our addiction to oil

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2017-07-12
A shift of emphasis to electric cars will raise supply challenges for both components suppliers and talent managers.

‘Last orders’ has been called for the internal combustion engine. 

Just a day after Volvo announced plans to include an electric motor element in all its cars, the new French government said it will legislate to phase out non-electric vehicles. 

This will not be an overnight transformation. Volvo has said that all new cars from 2019 will be either fully electric, hybrid or what it calls “mild hybrid”. 

The French government’s 2040 deadline is sensibly long-term, given that in France only 1.1% of new car registrations last year were for fully electric vehicles and in the whole of the EU the number was just 0.6%. 

But make no mistake – this is a big shift. Other countries will follow France’s lead; other car makers will follow Volvo in the footsteps of Toyota, Tesla and others. 

Manufacturers of electric cars seek talent
For the electronics sector, it’s a big deal too. The automotive industry is already a major employer for electronics engineers as in-car electronics become increasingly sophisticated. 

Jaguar Land Rover’s recent campaign to recruit 1,000 engineers is testament to how hard they have to work to recruit already, but as the market shifts more to electric vehicles it will surely soak up even more of the talent pool. 

Growing demand for components from tier one automotive firms has been mooted as one cause of strong sales and extending lead times in the market. This is before the shift to electric really takes hold, so expect massive changes as the market adapts. 

How stakeholders in the electronics supply chain adapt to the challenge will be a defining factor in our attempts to break our addiction to oil.