Automation has been an integral part of the auto industry in recent years. As a result, new transportation concepts have emerged, including autonomous vehicles and the surge of robotic initiatives. However, rapid growth rates have caused dissension within the industry. For instance, auto workers have become increasingly more concerned about the long-term fate of their jobs.
Here are two ways that increased focus on electric vehicles is sparking change in the auto industry.
The 10 Minute Charge
Battery life is a top priority for the use of electric vehicles. Now, a recent study revealed that we might soon be able to operate fast charging vehicles 1 , much like today’s cellphones. Although the concept is still in test mode, the goal is to charge an electric vehicle battery with 200 miles of range in only 10 minutes. The process involves heating the battery to a specific temperature to facilitate the quick charge. Although most electric vehicle owners charge overnight or at work, this could be a revolutionary milestone for delivery companies. Faster charging times mean a more immediate fulfillment of demand.
However, there are concerns about over heating issues if the vehicle charges for too long. Also, a need for more public charging stations will arise. The auto industry is already thinking ahead to mitigate risk by brainstorming solar power charging options as well. Nevertheless, we can expect to see more big wins for commercial transportation rather than individual vehicle owners.
Robots Are Not the Enemy
While innovation in the auto industry has been successful, many autoworkers have valid concerns. The autoworkers are negotiating terms with some of the largest auto manufacturers. Since electric vehicles require fewer parts to build, fewer autoworkers are needed 2 . Autoworkers state that electric vehicles have more of a detrimental job impact than robots. Although negotiations are in place between workers and some of the large corporations, electric vehicle innovation isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Automation in the auto industry has fueled demand for skilled engineers technicians and A.I. specialists. However, many autoworkers are tasked to carry the load of multiple skill sets. As a result, automation replaces humans on electric vehicle assembly lines that require complicated operations. Automation fosters a lower margin of error, due in part to increased electric vehicle production. Nonetheless, a solution has to be agreed upon that promotes productivity without worker exclusion.
The auto industry continues to make progressive strides toward greater efficiency. Fast charging batteries, robotics, and hybrid skill sets all contribute to pushing the innovation envelope. For this reason, organizations should ensure fair rights for their workers in the process. The delicate balance of increasing profitability and sustaining a critical knowledge base (from workers) is essential for future success.
1 Recharge an Electric Car Battery in 10 Minutes. It’s Less Exciting Than You Think by Brad Templeton
2 Electronic Vehicles Not Robots Are the Focus of Autoworkers’ Negotiations with Ford and GM by Rich Blake