Electric cars: Europe’s self-censorship

IIt is not politically correct to criticize the electric car in Old Europe because the determinism of Brussels removes the barriers to thinking otherwise. True, since Dieselgate, manufacturers have become unheard of, and the thermal car has become the subject of a “big change”, no argument in favor of which will shake the positions of European decision-makers. However, if voices are still being raised here and there to try to understand anything, the slightest reservation about this mode of action, which we want to adopt at any cost, has become politically unacceptable.

Not so, according to this explosive report by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). This structure acts as an independent research center for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). It brings together all European trade unions so that there is an organization that can speak with Brussels from a single position. Focusing on the admirable intention of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and the means to achieve it, the ETUI has produced a capstone of nearly sixty pages. Heavier, faster and cheaper carssome borderline elements in the indictment.

Initially focusing only on greenhouse gases, Brussels set itself the goal of reducing CO emissions.2 Transport 40% between 1990 and 2019. Fail represents the starting baseline, with 1990 set at 100% and 2050 at 0%. In fact, the transport sector has increased rather than reduced CO2 emissions2 In the last thirty years, 32% and passenger cars account for 43% of the total emissions of the sector. It’s enough to tax manufacturers with immobility – even if more cars are in circulation – but also to condemn their inevitable move with increasingly heavier and more powerful models.

The irresistible goal of zero emissions

Tommaso Pardi, author of the ETUI report, said: “This divergence is the main reason why the European automotive sector is now facing the most radical and potentially disruptive transformation in its history.” “Rapid and widespread electrification now appears to be the only possible technological solution to reconcile this divergent path with the European Green Deal. It aims to reduce CO emissions by 55% for passenger cars.2 for new cars by 2030 (still relative to 1990) and a 100% reduction is now being put forward by 2035.

“In other words, the internal combustion engine, which has been at the heart of this industry for more than a century and accounts for about 25% of value added and 40% of total employment in Europe, is just over a decade old. the auto industry will be phased out,” Purdy notes. Worse, this report highlights the central role played by the European regulatory framework in relation to CO2 emissions.2, but also on vehicle type approval and competition and trade policies within the single market. “This is pushing the industry towards heavier, more powerful and more expensive vehicles at a time when it is important to reduce CO2 emissions.2 it had to demand lighter, less powerful and more affordable cars. »

Thus, the premium car was on average 328 kg heavier than its equivalent according to the dimensions of a general. Between 2001 and 2015, Tommaso Pardi points out, extremely thermal cars increased on average by 10% in weight and 26% in engine power, two factors that together naturally led to a rapid increase in CO emissions.2 21%, all under EU leadership.

600 kilos more in ten years

This paradoxical shift, according to the ETUI, is at the origin of the Dieselgate scam and partly explains today’s accelerated electrification process. Starting with existing models that were converted to electric power and were not originally designed for it, the cars inevitably continued to weigh, weighing around 600 kilograms over a decade for electric cars looking for decent autonomy. . But more weight means more electricity consumption, which is not necessarily green, but rather a dubious ecological balance. While we are obviously concerned about the drying up of fossil resources, there is little question about the cobalt, nickel or lithium needed to make batteries.
READ ALSOThe car was condemned to lose weight

The report highlights the disconnect between this high-level drive by manufacturers and the accelerated electrification desired by Brussels. It’s already clear that many Europeans won’t be able to go fully electric in 2035, but if they’re not so lucky, they’ll be retaliated against through dissuasive taxes. This does not seem to have been achieved in France, where the yellow vests would be the first to worry unless the obvious stakeholders voiced their objections. The ETUI notes that very rapid, forced electrification “significantly reduces the expected environmental benefits, while significantly increasing its economic, social and political costs”. This is how we open the boulevard to those made in Asia, which have already monopolized the stands of the last Paris Motor Show.

However, Europe is not giving up and next January it will fight with diesel, which makes up 95.8% of its truck fleet. They account for 80% of goods transport, but despite accounting for only 2% of vehicles in circulation, Brussels accounts for only 26% of greenhouse gas emissions from road transport. Another time bomb is being prepared.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *