Charging up: India’s EV Talent Potential
The Indian electric vehicle industry has seen significant growth in recent years, with India emerging as one of the fastest-growing markets for passenger vehicles in the world. The challenges of rapid urbanization, traffic congestion, lack of parking space, long commute times, and escalating air pollution levels are driving India towards embracing electric mobility.
Hence, governments and automotive manufacturers have been making investments in EV technology for its range of benefits. These include a reduction in fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions from ground transportation and an improvement in transportation sustainability.
As the Indian EV industry experiences this massive boom, numerous players including OEMs, battery technology companies, charging infrastructure providers, and supporting businesses have entered the fray, creating demand for talent across various functions.
Demand for EV Talent:
Industries actively engaging EV talent in India include Automotive, Electrical and Electronic Manufacturing, Mechanical or Industrial engineering, Information Technology and Services, Machinery, and Computer Software.
Top employers actively seeking EV talent in India include:
- Indian OEMs/Tier-1 suppliers that manufacture and design EV vehicles in India
- Multinational OEMs and suppliers with engineering and innovation centers in India.
- Engineering service providers offering services in the EV, autonomous and connected space.
To keep up with industry demands and the intense competition, EV manufacturers prioritize speed-to-market and quick learning. They must also build their engineering and innovation capability to make their EV models affordable with better battery performance and longevity.
Therefore, the EV sector has a growing demand for professionals with resourcefulness, adaptability, and a willingness to learn and keep up with the EV market demands. Enterprises are on the lookout for individuals who can leverage first principles to drive innovation and educate customers about EVs.
New Skills Demand from EV Talent:
The EV industry has a demand for professionals in varied fields of design, manufacturing, maintenance, infrastructure development as well as sales and support. As the EV infrastructure develops, it offers employment and upskilling opportunity to technicians, mechanics, electricians, salespersons, operations managers, and engineers across the nation. The semi-skilled feet-on-street cadre might only need on-the-job training to monitor the machines and the quality of the output. But professionals in technical and managerial positions might require specialised skills, formal training, and industry knowledge to work in the design and manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Enterprises demand a diverse range of technical skills that span multiple disciplines, including software and hardware engineering, embedded systems, cloud platforms, mechanical engineering, and operational skills. In addition, a thorough understanding of the physical and mathematical systems and simulation tools is essential for EV engineers.
Proficiency in simulation software tools such as Matlab, Ansys, Altium Designer, GT-Suite, and LDRA is also a must for design and engineering roles in EV. Moreover, energy efficiency modeling, component sizing for EV vehicles, and designing software functions for BMS, Inverter, and DC-DC converters require further expertise.
For autonomous and connected vehicles, additional skills such as full-stack web development, 5G, cybersecurity, V2X, data analytics, digital twins, and AUTOSAR Classic and adaptive are required. Overall, the industry seeks candidates with simulation tool proficiency and hands-on experience in the field. For research and development roles, enterprises are looking for deeper knowledge of environmental sustainability to power green growth in EV manufacturing.
India’s EV Talent Supply:
The rising demand for EV talent is met by the pipeline of engineering colleges and B-schools across metros, tier 2 and tier 3 locations. For design and engineering roles, EV absorbs talent from universities and colleges with Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Instrumentation, and other Core Engineering streams. EV companies also offer opportunities to professionals working in ICE automotive enterprises to transition into EV industry with adequate training.
Nevertheless, the EV talent needs upskilling and reskilling to different degrees depending on their job role and duties. EV technicians and mechanics require a certificate course in Mechanical Engineering from AICTE recognized board of technical education or an advanced diploma from DGT with 2 years of experience in relevant automotive fields. Engineers and industrial designers benefit from a bachelor’s or even a master’s in relevant engineering streams, while research and development scientists may require a doctoral degree.
One common need for professionals is to build certain transferable skills and experience working in the automotive industry. Especially, the engineering and tech roles require professionals to become adaptable to learn new skills and switch between technologies, platforms and tools to keep up with the EV industry requirements.
How to Cultivate India’s EV Talent Pool:
India has an abundant talent pool of fresh graduates and experienced professionals. Every year, EV Enterprises pick up young talent from engineering schools and B-schools. However, the rapidly evolving and innovating EV ecosystem requires constant upskilling of its workforce.
Enterprises are looking for candidates who fit the technical skill requirements as well as possess an awareness of the green economy to pioneer the EV space in India. Engineering education platforms are enabling upskilling and reskilling of professionals through technical and sustainability-related ‘green’ courses. Courses organized by engineering schools in partnership with EV companies are driving the skill enhancement of freshers.
However, to amplify the EV sector’s appeal to young talent, there is a need to make deep tech and hardware engineering domains aspirational choices for techies. The EV industry has a huge potential to grow, and millennials and GenZs know that. With proper employer branding within the organization and creating visibility over social media, EV enterprises can create enthusiasm around the opportunities they offer, and engage top talent.
Enabling career transition pathways for ICE professionals is also crucial to build our EV talent pool. Training programs to introduce new processes and new technologies for EV professionals in manufacturing, R&D and engineering roles will ultimately lead to an efficient transition to a sustainable EV economy.