Tyre maker predicts electric cars will cause job losses, but cannot predict how many jobs the electric trend will create
The automotive sector should be prepared for job losses, as the trend towards electric cars continues.
That is the warning from the CEO of German tyre manufacturer Continental, but he did admit that the job losses could be offset by new positions related to electro-mobility.
It comes as electric cars become an increasingly common sight on British streets, and signals the potential disruption this form of transportation will bring to the car industry.
“Due to the low added value, production jobs will be lost,” Reuters reported Elmar Degenhart as saying in the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
Degenhart also reportedly said it was too soon to say whether the number of jobs that would be lost would be bigger of smaller than the number of new positions created.
“There is enough time to design the process such that the blow is softened and major pain can be avoided,” he is quoted as saying.
The scale of the potential job losses within the car industry is illustrated by the example that 30,000 jobs at Continental are dependent on combustion engines, out of a total workforce of 218,000.
Continental has already pledged to increase spending on electric-car components in coming years.
There is little doubt that uptake of electric and hybrid cars will increase in the coming years. Ford for example in 2015 revealed plans to introduce 13 more electric cars over the next five years and expand its battery research.
Charging these electric cars remains an issue, although charging points are slowly increasing in UK cities.
And earlier this year researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) successfully demonstrated a wireless electric car charging system that is as effective as plugging a charging cable in.
Tesla meanwhile has said that all models of its electric cars will come with the components needed to turn them into fully autonomous vehicles with a software update at a later time.