Representatives of the European automotive industry have been claiming that the deadline to phase out Internal Combustion Engine road vehicles needs to be postponed to even later than 2035, the year proposed by the European Commission and now gaining traction between Members of the European Parliament and the governments of EU Member States alike.
AVERE believes delaying this phase-out would be a disastrous mistake that would jeopardise the European Green Deal goal of full road transport decarbonisation by 2050. We, in fact, have good reasons to think that the end of internal combustion should be brought forward to 2030. Given that newly sold vehicles routinely stay on EU roads for 15 years or longer, 2035 is already on the edge of being too late, and further delays would spell out our failure to stave off climate change.
The claim that this would be an unsustainable shift is simply false: electromobility is here and is the most efficient form of clean road transport. To support it, Europe is developing a fully sustainable value chain for all components of EVs, chief among which batteries. In the framework of Horizon Europe, the European Union has approved 3.2 billion Euros of financing in the battery value chain. Furthermore, it is fully committed to creating Giga-Factories on the continent.
Such commitment makes sense – not just because it naturally follows from the duty to decarbonise our economy in line with the Eu’s legally binding climate aims, but also because of the exponentially increasing demand for electric vehicles. European vehicle manufacturers are racing to respond to this demand and plan to ramp up production in the next few years. Therefore, investment in batteries and the EV value chain will naturally result in new jobs in cell manufacturing, battery supply chain, and beyond.
Decarbonisation of road transport is a trend we see at all levels. Many cities and regions have already set phase-out dates for their territories, and we can see that demand for electric vehicles is on the rise globally. If European car manufacturers do not meet this demand, it will be met by competitors worldwide. As a result, Europe will have missed its chance to be the global leader for e-mobility.
Lastly, decarbonisation is an issue of security for Europe, not just in the future but in the present, as proven all too harshly by the war in Ukraine. Our dependency on fossil fuels from abroad is a liability. While it is true that raw materials for EV batteries come from all over the world, the sources are more diversified, and the materials can be recycled. Furthermore, we can see innovative technologies coming on the market that decrease our reliance on these materials.
Philippe Vangeel, Secretary General of AVERE, commented on the ongoing debate: “Decarbonising road transport is a necessity and a great opportunity. it’s not true decarbonisation will make us vulnerable. The war on Ukraine reminds us it’s the other way around: it’s our addiction to fossil fuels that makes us vulnerable. The more we delay this process, the higher the price we will pay, both in terms of the impact of climate change and with the missed opportunities in the growing global market for EVs. At the very least, the EU should stick to its commitment to a 2035 phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles.”
AVERE (The European Association for Electromobility) is the European association that promotes electromobility and sustainable transport across Europe.
Our Members consist of National Associations supporting and encouraging the use of Electric Vehicles and electromobility across Europe. We currently have active members in 19 European countries, notably some of the most successful EV countries like Norway, The Netherlands and Belgium.
Within these Associations, there are close to 2300 members, ranging from SME’s, OEM’s, and other companies with a commercial interest in electromobility
You can check the AVERE’s Vision for 2050 here