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Working World in Transition

The future of many jobs depends on the powertrain

After digitization, the next threat for the workforce is e-mobility. The Fraunhofer IAO predicts a significant downsizing of the powertrain, while the VDMA is focusing attention on the change as a whole.

15 Jun. 2018
The future of many jobs depends on the powertrain (Photo: FEV Consulting)

In Germany, about 75,000 jobs in car propulsion technology could disappear by 2030 due to electromobility. In total, perhaps every second of the current 210,000 jobs may be affected directly or indirectly. This is the conclusion of a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO , which was initiated by the German Association of the Automotive Industry, IG Metall, and other manufacturers and suppliers. The results include the fact that components such as batteries or power electronics could also create around 25,000 new jobs. The significantly lower personnel requirements due to the electrification of the powertrain will mainly affect the supplier area.

However, the parties involved do not see reason for panic. The challenge is great, but can be handled with the right framework conditions, said IG Metall Chairman Jörg Hofmann . Moreover, Prof. Dr. Oliver Riedel , Institute Director at the Fraunhofer IAO, added to the situation that the possible job loss was low compared to the more than 44 million working people in Germany. Nevertheless, the consequences could be considerable in individual companies or regions.

Just one day after the publication, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) made a statement with its own study . The above numbers only provide a distorted picture. The association sees the change as an opportunity for sustainable jobs. In the next 15 years, hybrid technology (a more complex powertrain than that of today) will result in an overall increase of work. This will overcompensate any job losses.