For over a decade, electric cars have been an attractive option for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. But these vehicles aren’t perfectly eco-friendly. The batteries in electric cars require a lot of fossil fuels to produce. Others argue that the emissions saved by not using gas will more than offset the emissions produced by producing the batteries.

Whether they’re great for the environment or not, electric cars are becoming more and more popular. That means mechanics will need to learn how to work on these vehicles. Job training for mechanics will need to include learning about the complex workings of electric vehicles in order to keep up with the future of the auto industry.

Are Electric Vehicles More Eco-Friendly Than Traditional Vehicles?

In short, yes. An article earlier this year tried to claim that that electric cars were worse than diesel cars. What the article didn’t show, however, is that the vehicles being tested weren’t that similar. The diesel car tested was a smaller car, while the electric vehicle was a large SUV. In addition, the cars weren’t tested in the same environment. As such, the results that showed electric cars were worse for the environment were incredibly flawed. In truth, electric vehicles were far better in terms of emissions.

The push for electric vehicles has a simple explanation: Electric cars don’t burn anything to operate. That means they don’t emit any greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere when they’re being driven. Yes, the batteries do require fossil fuels to produce. Right now, it’s unclear how much greenhouse gas is produced in the battery manufacturing process. But as battery life continues to increase, the overall carbon savings makes electric vehicles better for the environment.

What This Means for the Automotive Specialist Industry

For those who are planning on becoming a mechanic, it’s more important than ever to know how electric cars work under to hood. They are so much more complex than traditional vehicles. Even hybrid vehicles are more complicated to work on than gas- or diesel-powered cars. If mechanics don’t know how to properly work on electric vehicles, they run the risk of losing potential customers.

Of course, many electric cars are also self-driving. That presents an entirely different set of skills that mechanics need for the future. Right now, most self-driving cars are maintained at dealerships with specialized mechanics. But in the next few years, it will become much more common for owners of complex self-driving and electric cars to take their vehicles to their neighborhood mechanic. That means new job training programs for automotive specialists must include courses regarding electric and other modern cars and their complex systems. Otherwise, new mechanics may be way behind their potential competition in regards to the cars they can work on.