Ahead of the unveiling of the Green Deal Industry Plan, Luca de Meo, President of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association and Renault Group CEO, is urged EU leaders to put in place an ambitious and structured automotive industrial policy, to rival those of other world regions.
Concerned about the EU industry’s eroding competitiveness on the global stage, Mr de Meo (above) made this call in an open letter to policy makers. “Our industry has long had a competitive advantage across the value chain of internal combustion engine vehicles,” stated Mr de Meo, speaking to journalists.
“This will no longer be the case with electric vehicles, at least in the short term. Our competitors have many cards in their hands that we don’t yet have, namely upstream in the supply chain of battery electric vehicles. On top of that, their support from national and local authorities has been massive, and is still increasing in China and the US.”
“Indeed, through the Inflation Reduction Act, we see the United States stimulating their industry in the green transition, while Europe’s approach is to regulate the industry – often in an unsynchronised way.”
The Euro 7 proposal on pollutant emissions, for instance, imposes unrealistic constraints on the industry, and would even slow down the drive to decarbonisation.
“Complying with Euro 7 would bring cost increases that could deter customers from buying these new cars,” cautioned de Meo. “This could extend the life span of the fleet: meaning older cars, with higher emissions, staying longer on the roads.”
“We argue that we could achieve a far better cost-benefit ratio if we reorient the huge investments that Euro 7 would require towards electrification, making electric vehicles more affordable, and developing zero-emission technologies to improve the fleet.”