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An electric car contains about 200 parts and requires less of a workforce and about 3.7 man hours to assemble. Hybrids and conventional petrol cars on the other hand consist of 1,000-plus parts and require more labour, and 9.2 and 6.2 hours respectively to build.

Shifting to EVs has had a profound impact on employment in the automotive industry. These thoughts of job security swirled in my mind recently when I and a couple of other automotive journalists joined Ford Motors SA’s engine building workforce at the company’s Struandale engine plant in Port Elizabeth...

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