Every engineering student aspiring to progress their career into advanced studies would want to tread lightly and choose only the most promising fields of the future.
When it comes to electrical engineering fields, one of the first options that might pop in your mind is renewable energy! It’s capturing a big market, and the world is inevitably moving towards it.
So, what about engineering jobs in the electric vehicle industry? For many students living in India, EV seems like something that is still being tested and tried, as you barely get to see any EVs on the road.
However, the scope for building a career in EVs could be huge for you if you understand the opportunities that are brewing around the world.
Analyzing the Scope in EV Industry
TECH ADVANCEMENTS IN EVS
Being from a technical background, it would behoove you to begin judging your career scope in this field by the various tech advancements happening in it. This will truly give you a perspective on your interests and inclinations.
The unmatched performance of today’s lithium-ion batteries compared to lead-acid batteries is what motivated Elon Musk to venture into the EV space. Lithium-ion has made EVs highly viable for mass commercialization, as it offers benefits like:
- Higher Cycle Count: Can be charged several times more as compared to other batteries
- Safety: Extremely secure against inflammation, leaks, and overheating
- Cost savings: Longer lifespan and up to 30% more energy-efficient than lead-acid batteries
- Higher Sustained Voltage: Maintain optimum charge and face no issues in losing out voltage or power until drained.
Rapid advances in electric motors have translated into significant improvements in the performance and cost-effectiveness of EVs. Out of all the advanced motor concepts, 2 of them are showing promising results:
- Electronically Commutated Motor:
Commonly known as DC brushless motors, these motors are known to revive our interest in EVs after our first foray into it in the early 1900s. DC brushless motors have proven to be up to 95% more efficient than the other two motors (Brushed DC and AC induction) commonly used in EVs. They are also easier to maintain due to fewer parts and are simpler to control in regards to speed and reversing.
- Permanent Magnet Motor:
While AC induction motors are known for producing high power in some of the top-end EVs, permanent magnet motors offer significant advantages in economical EVs. As these magnets are created from earth materials, they don’t create the need to generate additional magnetic currents.
Plus, they are easier to control, easier to cool (as the windings are only on the outside) and lighter, and can be used as generators for regenerative braking. This makes permanent motors the go-to option for all upcoming EV makers around the world.
Even though autonomous vehicle stands as a separate field, EVs are strongly contributing to the widespread advancement and adoption of autonomous vehicles because:
- It’s easier to implement autonomous features on EVs as they have fewer moving parts.
- Wireless charging technologies used in EVs integrate seamlessly with autonomy.
- Easier to program and control EV drivetrains.
INCENTIVES SANCTIONED FOR EVS
Various government incentives and subsidies have compelled automakers to foray into EVs. This has led to a worldwide transformation in the automotive industry and the creation of highly-skilled electric vehicle engineer jobs in large volumes.
Incentives Around the World:
- China: EV adoption offers exemption from purchase, and additional taxes ranged between CNY 35,000 and CNY 60,000 (USD 5,000 to USD 8,500).
- Norway: Norway plans to ban the sale of petrol cars by 2025. EVs are exempt from the 25% value-added tax (VAT) on car purchases.
- USA: The Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a tax credit for $2,500 to $7,500 for every new EV purchased for use in the US.
Incentives in India:
The Indian government has launched a scheme called FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles), which aims to subsidize the purchase of over 1 million electric two-wheelers, 7,000 electric buses, and 55,000 electric and hybrid passenger cars over a three-year period.
EV PRODUCTION ACROSS THE WORLD
The EV market is currently dominated by Tesla, BYD, BMW, Volkswagen, and Nissan. These auto-makers are enabling cutting-edge innovations in EVs and creating thousands of job opportunities. The market is projected to reach 26,951,318 units by 2030, from an estimated 3,269,671 units in 2019.
EV Production in India:
EV is a nascent industry in India as compared to the rest of the world, as the infrastructure is still being set up. The only major player in the EV market is TATA motors. But this is good news for EV students, as they have the opportunity to get on the ground floor of developing a sustainable EV charging infrastructure across the country.
TATA has announced plans to set up 500 charging stations, while the Indian government has planned to set up a total of 15000 units.
Highlights From Major EV Manufacturers:
- Tesla Motors: The company made a deal with Panasonic to produce lithium-ion batteries at its Nevada Gigafactory, with an initial investment of 1.6 Bn Dollars.
- Mahindra Electric: It offers a range of electric vans, electric autos, and e-three wheelers like Mahindra E2o, and Mahindra eAlfa Mini.
- BMW: The manufacturer has announced a new vehicle that will offer a maximum range of 435 miles per charge.
- Porsche: The company will launch its first electric sports car, Taycan, that can generate up to 560 kW / 761 PS.
- TATA: The company unveiled the Nexon in the electric version, that has been introduced with ZIPTRON technology.
Job Opportunities in EV
India serves as a humungous market for the development and growth of EVs. Just like the existing plants for conventional vehicles, many foreign auto-makers will be seen setting up EV operations in India. The government has chalked a plan to aid its electric mobility mission by creating a specialized workforce, which aims at generating over 10 million jobs.
In the rest of the world, the EV industry is already thriving! By 2030, the US is expected to witness a rise of 130,000 to 350,000 engineering jobs in the electric vehicle industry alone. Tesla has launched an education program to train a new generation of electric car technicians that will be employed at their 100+ centers across the globe.
WHAT KIND OF JOB CAN YOU GO FOR?
As a young and developing industry, there are no defined profiles for electric vehicle engineer jobs. Electric vehicle companies ideally look for graduate engineers with proficiency in domains like EV safety, software, motor calibration, power electronics, and mechanical design.
To understand the various EV fields associated with popular engineering branches, you can review the table below:
What Does It Take to Become an EV Expert?
An engineering degree prepares you to develop a vision for EVs. But for that idea to come to fruition, you need specialized training that takes you through the intricacies of EV technologies.
The course work for EV is derived from traditional electronics and electrical engineering curriculums. But to understand the core concepts and develop practical thinking, you need to specialize in drivetrain tech, battery management systems, and power systems.
Combining these specializations with advanced training in physics, parts design, and mathematics makes you fully qualified for a career in EVs.
EMERGING FIELDS IN THE EV SECTOR
- Hybrid vehicle design
- Computational design
- Drivetrain design and analysis
- Mathematical simulations
- Thermal management systems
Why Don’t Indian Colleges Provide Courses in EV?
Effective courses for EV design and manufacturing explore every aspect of EVs, like drivetrains and battery management systems. Students need hands-on training for the latest software, in-depth tutorials of commonly used materials in EV parts, and a strong foundation in the fundamental premises of EVs. Currently, Indian colleges lack the basic infrastructure to facilitate these requirements, let alone specialized courses.
As the EV industry is ever-evolving, students need to be on the pulse with the latest trends and innovations. The only way to do this is to engage students in industry-relevant projects that introduce them to the inner-workings of the EV industry.