Electric cars simpler to build and demand fewer workers
Published: Tuesday, July 05, 2011, 4:15 PM Updated: Wednesday, July 06, 2011, 5:18 PM
By Jennie L Phipps | MLive.com Contributor MLive.com
If you want a job in the electric car business, what kind of skills do you need?
Brooks Agnew, who is president and CEO of Vision Motor Cars, says get comfortable with light assembly or hone your talents as an electrical engineer.
Agnew, who was part of the launch teams of the Cadillac CTS and the Pontiac Solstice, is the designer and manufacturer of modestly priced, plug-in electric vehicles for highway use. His lightweight trucks:
Travel 100 miles a single charge
Recharge using existing 110 volt or 220 volt outlets
Cost about $25,000
So far, Vision has sold more than 1,500 of its trucks and says it has orders for 151,000 more. GM has sold about twice as many Volts.
Agnew says Vision will hire 500 people over the next 90 days in Concord, N.C., where it plans to build the trucks. By early next year, it plans to add another 700. Many of them will be mid-level engineers with automotive backgrounds, but others will come from defense, electronics and medical backgrounds. "It's a very cross-disciplinary field," he says.
The non-engineers the company hires will need to be able to read schematics, work with small wires and small tools, including electric screw and nut drivers.
Agnew doesn't anticipate any trouble finding good people in an area of the country without much automotive manufacturing history because it's much simpler to build an electric car than a gas-powered one.
"It takes one-third fewer people to build an electric-powered vehicle compared to a gas-powered one because there are half as many moving parts," Agnew says. "No timing belts. no complex emission controls, no exhaust."
If you're interested in making the move, the company will be posting the openings on its website within the next month.
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Job postings will be here apparently: