WHAT'S DRIVING JOB CREATION?
National efforts to improve our energy security, stabilize energy prices, and curtail climate impacts have created both the need and the opportunity to truly transform our transportation sector.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included significant investments in advanced vehicle technologies. $2.4 billion was invested in transportation electrification through competitive grants in 48 different projects: $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries and components, $500 million for electric drive components, and $400 million for the purchase of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles for demonstration purposes. In addition, $300 million was invested in a variety of other vehicles technologies through the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles Pilot Program.
Since then, the Department of Energy continued to invest in developing and deploying alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.
WHERE CAN I FIND CLASSES OR TRAINING?
EcoCAR 3, which DOE also supports, is a four-year engineering competition aimed at promoting advanced vehicle technologies. Through the student advanced technology vehicle competition program, almost 20,000 students have received hands-on engineering experience. Upon graduation, many of them moved on to take jobs in the automotive industry, bringing with them an understanding of (and enthusiasm for) advanced vehicle technologies.
WORKFORCE AND ECONOMIC NEED
Technology development: People in these professions will be the ones developing new and advanced vehicle technologies. These jobs primarily fall within various disciplines of engineering, such as chemical, materials, electrical, and mechanical.
Technology manufacturing: Many jobs are directly involved in the manufacturing processes for new vehicle technologies. These professions include machine operators, other factory workers, and industrial engineers.
Technology use: A broad range of professions are involved in the use of new vehicle technologies. These jobs include bus and other fleet drivers, automotive maintenance technicians, and fueling infrastructure installers.
The following transportation related energy sectors job estimates are based on the BW Research Partners U.S. Energy and Employment Report.
- The Alerternative Fuels sector has over 350,547 estimated U.S. jobs
- Fuel Economy component parts represent almost 500,000 estimated U.S. jobs
- Hybrid and Electric Vehicles make up has over 198,000 estimated U.S. Jobs
For some employees in the vehicle manufacturing industry, the move to new vehicle technologies will have a minor impact on their job duties and require limited new training. Instead of a traditional car or truck, employees will be manufacturing new types of products with different technologies.
Jobs that are involved in technology development and use new technologies will require more training and new skills. For example, engineering schools will need to provide new materials in relevant courses, automotive technicians will need to learn how to repair and maintain completely new technologies, and installers must learn how to put in new types of fueling infrastructure (e.g., biofuel dispensers and electric chargers). Furthermore, bus drivers and other vehicle operators will need to learn how to efficiently and safely operate their new vehicles.