March 30, 2023

Chinese electric vehicles “are good and increasingly cheap”, European Commission vice-president warns – Observer

From 2035, there are no new light-fuel vehicles in Europe. The resolution was approved this Tuesday by the European Parliament, with 340 votes in favor, 279 against and 21 abstentions. This means that, from that year onwards, car manufacturers wishing to make their models available in the Old Continent can only offer 100% electric vehicles, either with batteries or generating the electricity they need on board via fuel cells hydrogen. Finally it seems that, while committed to making the car industry an example of carbon neutrality by 2050, Europe is wary of Chinese carmakers’ moves on the Old Continent and the impact this could have on the European car industry.

“Let me remind you that, from last year to the end of this year, China will introduce at least 80 electric car models to the international market.”warned the vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, citing Agence France-Presse. “They are good cars,” continued the Dutchman. “These are cars that will be more and more accessible and we have to compete with them”he stressed, acknowledging that Growing Chinese competition, with better quality and more competitive prices, poses demanding challenges Players Europeans. Since the European economy depends – and a lot – on the automotive industry, which represents hundreds of thousands of jobs. Just remember that, In Germany alone, 600,000 jobs are currently allocated to the production of internal combustion engine vehiclesas recalled by MEP Jens Gieseke, of the European People’s Party (EPP), who urged policymakers to review plans to extend the now approved ban to HGVs and passenger transport vehicles. Karima Delli, MEP of the Greens who belongs to the Transport Committee of the European Parliament, took a diametrically opposite position. The Frenchwoman called Tuesday’s vote “historic for the ecological transition.”

Transport currently accounts for 25% of CO2 emissionstwo in the territory of the European Union, of which 15% is produced by cars. “We will no longer have, or almost no longer have, gasoline or diesel cars on our roads in 2050… It is a victory for our planet and for our populations,” Karima Delli rejoiced. It happens, even today, only around 12% of new vehicles registered in the EU are electric. Demand for this type of vehicle has increased, but opponents of the European resolution to ban internal combustion engines believe that there is a risk of seeing the so-called “Havana effect”. That is, if electric vehicles do not really become more affordable, it may happen that Europeans continue to drive old cars, which burn diesel or petrol, because they do not have the money to buy a new electric vehicle – an argument used by the PPE. This hypothetical scenario reinforces the “care” that European brands must take in order not to lose the race to Chinese competitors.

3 reasons and 1 number to take a fresh look at Chinese car brands

While we have seen the entry of more and more Chinese electric vehicles into Europe and in addition to a total ban on the sale of new vehicles equipped with a thermal engine from 2035 onwards, European MEPs have decided that the effort to reduce carbon dioxide (COtwo) is to continue, forcing emissions from new light-duty vehicles to fall by 55% by 2030 compared to 2021 levels (generally set at an average of 95g). Meanwhile, light commercial vehicles will see emissions drop by 50%, also starting from the values ​​recorded in 2021. This will lead to some manufacturers having to accelerate their plans for electrification. Many others have even chosen to promote, for several years, the objective now set by the European authorities.

Volvo, for example, wants to be a 100% electric brand by 2030, while Lancia’s renaissance is designed so that the Italian brand sells only electric vehicles in 2028. Opel, also from the Stellantis universe, will leave combustion in Europe by 2028, while Peugeot extends this transition to 2030. In seven years, all new models with the lion emblem will be 100% electric, a process that foresees the electrification of the entire range by the end of this year and, from 2025, offering an electric version across the brand’s portfolio. A similar roadmap has been drawn by Ford, which has already announced that in 2030 it will offer European drivers an all-electric range. And the list of manufacturers predicting the most approved targets continues with Mercedes (2030), Jaguar (2025) and many others.


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