Vehicle technology has seen some tremendous changes and developments in recent years, including the use of high-strength steels, aluminum and magnesium, along with ADAS systems and all the intricate technology that includes.
And while the industry is still learning how to cope with that, we are on to the next horizon---the fast-growing adoption of electric and electric-hybrid motive technology.
Only a few years ago, car makers were more focused on different fuels, leaner-burning internal combustion engines (ICE) and more exotic transmissions. Today, the trend is toward full and hybrid electric.
In 2021, there are 75 fully-electric vehicles; in 2020, there were 59.
Tesla is the name most people come up with when electric cars are discussed; they command a large share of the market and are top-of-mind in the electric car world. But most every legacy car manufacturer has a dog in the hunt, and new technology brings with it new players, such as Rivian and Lucid.
Driving the growth of this market is the expanding vehicle choice. Ford has an all-electric Mustang now available for order, and an all-electric F-150 truck will soon be here. GM recently announced an EV Hummer.
Another growth-driver is fleet adoption. Startup electric vehicle maker Rivian will produce an entire delivery fleet for Amazon. President Joe Biden plans to replace all 645,000 government-run gas and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles, 35% of those belonging to the U.S. Postal Service.
And EV driving range is getting progressively longer. That, together with exhilarating performance and lower costs, will soon start to change the face of the American fleet.
But who will work on these cars---and how will technicians be trained and educated, especially those at independent mechanical garages and techs at collision repair shops?
On a conventional ICE vehicle, a technician may get away with a slight jolt touching a wrong wire. On a high-voltage EV, touching the wrong wire at the wrong time could...