“How to do business? ‘: Auto shops face uncertain future as Singapore shifts to electric vehicles

Even so, some shops might be hesitant to send their employees on VE courses, Ong said.

“With that kind of knowledge, there’s a good chance they’ll jump elsewhere. So many companies are also quite reluctant to send workers on that kind of refresher course,” he explained.

“For other shops with owners up to my age, if they can’t handle all that electronic stuff, or if they don’t have successors for the business, then they’ll probably end.”

Back at AutoCity in Sin Ming, Ricardo Auto Center manager Jeremy Soh believes it’s only a “matter of time” for EVs to gain widespread adoption, saying his shop will shift towards maintenance applicable to electric vehicles.

This includes aesthetic related areas like tires and rims as well as running gear maintenance like wheel alignments and suspension changes.

“For us, we don’t intend to stop there. We will try to move into new areas where you can still work on electric vehicles,” the 41-year-old said.

“We also do financing, insurance and things like that. So it’s not just about operating a workshop for us.”

But Mr Soh said he would not “jump straight” to send his employees on VE courses as they are currently “very basic”.

“We might even have to send our boys overseas rather than training in Singapore,” he added.

TECHNICAL CHALLENGES

While SMWA’s Mr. Keh acknowledged that current EV courses are basic, he stressed that they must be basic initially to meet the needs of technicians who might have little formal education, especially as many ‘among them are strangers.

He said the SMWA had held “a few rounds” of courses with engineering firm Robert Bosch for a total of 70 technicians so far.

In fact, Mr. Keh is concerned about the national plan to roll out certification courses as they may prove too complicated for technicians.

“Because you are training someone who only has primary knowledge and you want to take a diploma course straight away,” he said, adding that he would talk to LTA about it.

Despite this, Mr Keh suggested that no course can currently prepare technicians to service electric vehicles, pointing out that electric vehicle manufacturers do not sell their spare parts, motors or circuit diagrams in Singapore. to protect their intellectual property.

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