In the last century or so the vehicle industry has seen many innovations in the form of better design, better engine performance, better combustion, better comfort for passengers etc. The electric vehicle in today’s time is considered to be one such innovation for the future. But very few know that electric vehicles have been in the industry right from the time when the vehicle industry was just starting to take shape. The first electric vehicle car was practically invented by ‘Thomas Parker’ around 1884 another notable development was ‘The Flocken Elektrowagen’ produced in Germany around 1888.

Even after being present in the vehicle industry from the beginning, infrastructure limitation like poor quality roads, no charging points, limited technology to build better batteries, lack of skilled labor etc., contributed heavily to diminish the growth of electric vehicles on the global arena. But in recent years industry giants have started investing in electric vehicles which can be used as easily as petrol and diesel vehicles. Many corporates like Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Tata Motors, Mahindra etc., have already laid out the process to add electric vehicle as a prominent member of the vehicle industry. This surge has been due to a variety of reasons the notable ones being, air pollution caused by carbon emission from oil vehicles, oil being expensive than electricity, the low maintenance cost of electric vehicles etc. Electric vehicles are considered to be the future of mobility which is expected to realize in the next fifteen to twenty years.

The Problem

In order to develop sustainable electric vehicles, Indian Electric Vehicle industry at present is struggling with availability of talent pool. The major auto industry players of the country are struggling to find the right talent pool in the required field of expertise and in the required number. The present scenario as per industry experts is that industry is facing around 5000 engineers deficit. Top engineering colleges and universities are in the spotlight of the auto industry for producing a pool of talent electric vehicle industry requires.  

The global EV industry has seen tremendous growth in the recent past. The year 2017 saw the number of sold units for EVs cross a million. Chinese market of electric vehicle expanded by 72 percent in 2017, and China continues to be the leader in EVs market having the more share than combined share of Europe and United States of 94 percent sales share. Given the current stand on boosting technology and related products in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unsurprisingly urged the auto industry to boost investment in Electric Vehicles and expect an electric vehicle policy soon enough.

Indian auto players face this unmentioned pressure, considering the steep rise in a global market which is expected to reach around 4.5 million by 2020 with China being the dominant contributor at the present stage. Mostly demand for engineers is in the field of electric and mechanics, which is expected to reach 15000 in the next two years. Currently, about 1000 engineers are working on electric vehicles in India, and the demand-supply gap is on a constant rise. In view of talent shortage, Tata Motors has chosen to start building their in-house pool of talent, Mahindra & Mahindra has only managed to fill 30 percent of its engineer’s requirement even though it received around 20,000 job applications in June quarter, which it plans to induct on entry level. According to TeamLease co-founder Rituparna Chakraborty, “Over the next two years, demand is expected to rise three-fold to 15,000 but supply is expected to be around 10,000.” He called for immediate actions to be taken in regards to curbing the widening gap of demand and supply.

Indian companies are also scouting for experienced global talent but to fill the huge demand and supply gap domestic talent production has to be the main focus. For developing domestic talent Indian auto industry cannot rely completely on top engineering colleges and universities but also have to make efforts for proper training programmes in order to train freshers in the required field of electric mobility. Electric vehicles are the future of modern mobility in view of rising oil prices, pollution, and emerging alternative fuel technologies. Even though at present demand for e-vehicles is not high in India, but it is expected that with the launch of few EVs from companies like Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Mercedes, and development of necessary infrastructure for EVs India will become a major consumer in this market. Thus it is of utmost importance that companies really gear up for this market and address the shortage of talent pool through in-house training and development.

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