Training employees in the electric car is very expensive!

Employees who have spent decades perfecting the internal combustion engine now have about 5 years to forget everything and learn electric mobility. This is the mission entrusted today to the leaders of large companies in the automotive industry, and in particular manufacturers sticking their hands in their pockets to train their employees in lithium batteries, inverters, electric motors, wires and power electronics. It will therefore be necessary to forget the dynamics of the fluids, the calculation of injection rates and the mastery of quality control in the manufacture of clutches and flywheels in favor of the phase shift of a rotor, battery chemistry and power diagrams composed of diode bridges. Unfortunately for manufacturers, this huge paradigm shift is costly. Very expensive. This is proven by Mercedes today with a significant amount set aside for employee training.

Learn electrically, or do not

Last year, Porsche found a fine title for its press release: “Porsche electrifies its leaders“. Understand by this that the brand wants to” electrify “its executives by entrusting them with rechargeable company cars rather than thermal cars. , that a quarter of employees should retrain in the short term: “the goal, however, is to keep all employees on board as much as possible through strategic competency management and finding a job. adapted for everyone “, admitted Andreas Haffner. But not everyone wants a suitable job.

Today, Mercedes announces a major training plan for its workforce, up to … 1.3 billion euros. At some point not so long ago, this sum would have been colossal. It would almost have allowed the development of vehicles from scratch. But today, everything is tenfold, a proof of the enormous financial challenge that the transition to the electric car entails.

The plan, called “Turn2Learn”, will allow thousands of employees (mostly Germans) not to be overwhelmed by events by 2030.

“By 2021, there were approximately 75,000 participants for software, development and IT training at Mercedes-Benz Group AG worldwide,” Mercedes said. The brand adds that “for an all-electric future, Mercedes-Benz trains its employees in electrical / electronics from basic to expert level. The qualifications are based on the employees’ specific tasks and vary in their scope and content. For example, the basic requirement for employees to move around in the high-voltage environment is high-voltage safety courses that last only a few hours. Additional basic training as an electrician lasting several weeks is required to work independently on the high-voltage system, so the “mechanic” becomes both an electrician and a computer technician.

Equipment manufacturers on the edge of the abyss?

A recent study by Bain & Company highlights a serious risk of breakage among OEMs. 28 major suppliers had audits to assess the extent to which the electricity conversion weighed on their future. Companies like BorgWagner, Hella, Pirelli or even Schaeffler have been scrutinized and the results are serious: “a violent storm is brewing over the industry, the foundations of the automotive industry are threatened“. If the manufacturers have (for some) the kidneys strong enough to withstand the storm, this will not be the case for all these equipment manufacturers, who may experience enormous difficulties.” While car manufacturers concentrate on better quality products and deliver lower discounts to end customers I In the current situation, suppliers are often exposed to price pressures from automakers, which remain high, “the study said. And according to Bain & Company,”suppliers have only a few years left to adapt their business models to the era of electromobilitySome will make it, and others may simply sink or be acquired and engulfed by foreign groups.

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