The Transition to Electrified Vehicles: Implications for the Future of Automotive Manufacturing and Worker Skills and Occupations

31 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2022

See all articles by Turner Cotterman

Turner Cotterman

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy

Erica R.H. Fuchs

Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Mitchell J. Small

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy

Kate Whitefoot

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy

Date Written: July 22, 2022

Abstract

The automotive industry's transition to large-scale production of electric vehicles brings with it a transition of worker skills. We examine the changes in labor skills demanded for battery electric vehicle (BEV) powertrains in contrast to traditional internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) powertrains. We collect detailed shop floor data on the labor tasks required for powertrain production steps from automotive manufacturers. Using the O*NET survey instrument and comparative descriptive statistics, we are able to evaluate the level of skills required for the same occupations across the different technologies. We examine statistical differences between the technologies and the extent to which skills within the same vehicle technology are correlated. The results show that production practices used by BEV manufacturers may increase demand for select middle-level to upper-level skills for some physical, cognitive, and social skills relative to ICEV powertrains, but the range of most BEV powertrain skills required is not outside of the range of skills required for ICEV powertrains.

Keywords: Vehicle electrification, powertrain system, workforce skill requirements, O*NET survey instrument

Suggested Citation

Cotterman, Turner and Fuchs, Erica Renee and Small, Mitchell J. and Whitefoot, Kate, The Transition to Electrified Vehicles: Implications for the Future of Automotive Manufacturing and Worker Skills and Occupations (July 22, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4169404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4169404

Turner Cotterman (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Erica Renee Fuchs

Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Mitchell J. Small

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy

Baker Hall 129
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Kate Whitefoot

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Engineering and Public Policy ( email )

Baker Hall 129
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

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