The European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR), assembled in Brusselsf or its annual conference, emphasised the
need for accelerating R&D investments to secure the industry’s competitiveness and, in addition, discussed the potential for the electrification of the vehicle.
EUCAR chairman professor Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Group
Research Volkswagen, presented the new “EUCAR FOCUS” brochure to Anne
Houtman from the European Commission Directorate General for Transport
and Energy. The EUCAR FOCUS specifies the major strategic research
topics and activities for the coming years: urban mobility and transport,
alternative fuels, electrification of the vehicle, safety applications in
cooperative systems, innovative materials and environmentally friendly
In his opening speech, Professor Leohold stated: “Through intensive
research and close cooperation with the European Commission and other
main stakeholders, these research topics can be decisively advanced.
Especially in the current financial situation, innovation must be
accelerated, in order to secure the long term competitiveness of the
European automobile industry.”
A panel including automotive manufacturers, suppliers, the electricity
industry and the European Commission debated the potential for
electrification of the vehicle. They shared the conclusion that the
potential of electric vehicles is great, but the challenges to
implementation remain significant. Mrs Houtman, while recognising the
electrification of the vehicle as an important contributor to improving
air quality, reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption as well as
future mobility in general, addressed the challenges as well: “I would
like to encourage all stakeholders – electricity providers, automotive
industry and operators – to join their forces to establish common
standards for the charging systems”, she said.
Further panels on urban mobility, safety applications and materials and
manufacturing brought together the members of the EUCAR Council as well
as other experts from the automobile industry and the research community
to discuss the automotive research needs for the future and the status of
current collaborative research projects.
EUCAR is the European Council for Automotive R&D from the major European
passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturers. EUCAR facilitates and
coordinates pre-competitive research and development projects and
participates in a wide range of collaborative European R&D programmes.
The European automobile manufacturers are the largest private investors
in R&D in Europe with around EUR 20 billion investments per annum, or 4%
of turnover. EUCAR members are BMW, DAF, Daimler, Fiat, Ford Europe,
GME/Opel, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault, Scania, Volkswagen Group
and Volvo. EUCAR is closely connected to ACEA, the European Automobile