The electric vehicle (EV) industry is gearing up for substantial job growth in the coming years, with a special focus on green skills. While estimates may vary among industry leaders, there is unanimous agreement that the sector will witness the creation of millions of new job opportunities.
The Indian automotive landscape is abuzz with the “electric” fervor, as numerous electric vehicle manufacturers, battery producers, and charging infrastructure providers strive to establish their presence. The surge in these green-focused enterprises has naturally led to a surge in demand for professionals equipped with green skills.
LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report for 2023 has revealed that India outpaces several other countries in acquiring green skills among automotive industry workers. Over the past five years, India has seen a 40% increase in the number of automotive industry employees possessing at least one EV-related skill, surpassing the United States, Mexico, Canada, and various European nations.
Sanjay Shetty, Director of Professional Search & Selection at Randstad India, predicts the creation of up to 10 million direct jobs in the EV sector by 2030, along with an additional 50-55 million indirect job opportunities. Manu Sharma, AVP HR at Hero Electric, emphasizes that building scale in the EV industry will necessitate the immediate recruitment of 5-10 million individuals. This demand spans the entire electric mobility sector in India, encompassing OEMs, component manufacturers, and service providers.
Sameer Aggarwal, CEO and Founder of Revfin, projects the creation of about 20 million jobs by 2030, spanning a wide range of roles, from research and development to manufacturing, charging infrastructure deployment, and various technical positions.
This rapid demand surge for professionals with green skills has led to a growing disparity between supply and demand, resulting in a shortage of qualified candidates. Maxson Lewis, founder and MD of EV solutions company Magenta, points out that EV technology is inherently multidisciplinary, combining mechanical, electrical, electronic, and telecom engineering. However, there is currently a lack of comprehensive courses covering all the requisite knowledge for the EV sector.
Moreover, the constant evolution of EV technology poses a challenge for skill development. Frequent advancements in battery technology, for instance, create a shortage of qualified personnel in the industry. Lewis suggests that for the next few years, demand will consistently outstrip supply.
Shetty notes that the Indian EV market is poised for 45-50% growth by 2030, with expectations of annual EV sales surpassing 10 million units, contributing to the creation of 8-10 million direct jobs and 50-55 million indirect opportunities. In the short term, there is a growing demand for skilled professionals, with an immediate need for 1.5-2 million employees. He also highlights the shortage of talent in specific domains, such as software, artificial intelligence, connected technologies, electric vehicle development, shared mobility solutions, and safety standards.
Ashish Deswal, Founder of EarthtronEV, an EV charging company, identifies a skills gap in two specific areas: EV charging engineering and EV charging operations. To address this, Earthtron looks to hire talent from industries similar to their own and provides the necessary training to make them proficient.
Industry-wide, there is a significant shortage of technicians and engineers trained in EV charging infrastructure. Installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting EV charging stations requires a unique skill set not widely available, and there is a lack of professionals skilled in customer service and technical support tailored specifically to EV charging stations.
Altigreen Propulsion Labs, a Bengaluru-based commercial electric vehicle manufacturer, is addressing the skills gap through in-house training and mentorship programs. However, they note that skills needed for embedded software roles, which manage the electronic components of EVs, often require additional training, even for experienced professionals transitioning from traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) roles.
Hero Electric’s Sharma points out skill gaps in battery thermal management, energy density improvement, safety enhancement, charging station design, and grid integration functions. Additionally, there is a challenge in hiring the right professionals for data and AI application roles, as the industry for these skills is still maturing. Companies often seek individuals eager to work in the EV industry and provide on-the-job learning under experts, which can take several months to bring new hires up to the required skill level.
In line with the demand for these specialized roles, the potential salary increases are substantial, with certain roles seeing salary jumps of 50% or more from current pay packages. In R&D functions, for example, salaries are expected to increase by 40-50%, while niche roles like data science and AI are projected to see salary hikes exceeding 50%.