European vehicle makers welcome policy coordination around e-mobility

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The European automobile manufacturers
welcome  the initiative taken by the Spanish Presidency of the Council of
the  European  Union  to  discuss the opportunities as well as challenges
offered  by e-mobility during the informal Competitiveness Council in
San Sebastian. EU ministers exchanged views with leaders and experts from
across society, including the automobile industry.

Electric  mobility  will clearly play an important role in the future and
there is room as well as need for coordinated policy support. At the same
time  it  is  important  to  maintain  a  broader approach to sustainable
mobility.  Conventional powertrain technologies with high-tech combustion
engines  as well as fuels will continue to play a dominant role for years
to come and progress in this field must continue as well.

The  automobile  industry  pleads  for  an ambitious as well as realistic
framework                            to                           promote
e-mobility.  “The  ecological  benefits  of  emission-free  mobility  are
obvious.  And  we  are now at a point where, contrary to past experience,
electric  propulsion is finally becoming a viable alternative”, said ACEA
President  Dieter Zetsche (Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler
AG), addressing EU ministers.

A  winning  effort  to  make  e-mobility commercially and environmentally
successful should be built on five main pillars:

–  A  sound,  long-term  and  coordinated  policy towards sustainable
mobility

–  Boosting  customer acceptance and demand through market incentives
as well as a widely available recharging infrastructure

– Global standards to recharge vehicles

– Support for further R&D

– Low-carbon energy production

Such  a  strategy  will  help  secure  EU-leadership  in  engineering and
competence,  with  a  potential  positive impact on employment in the EU.
Governments  of  USA,  Japan  and  China already support new technologies
intensively,  and  this  poses  a challenge to European vehicle makers in
terms of their global competitiveness.

EU  vehicle  manufacturers  are  world-wide  technology  leaders  in fuel
efficiency  and  safety  and they are determined to retain that position.
The  industry  is  transforming  its product portfolio to include a broad
range  of  electrically  chargeable  cars,  trucks  and  buses, including
plug-in  hybrid,  extended  range  electric  (including  fuel  cells) and
battery electric vehicles.

For  electric  mobility  to  take  off  and fulfil its potential, further
significant  and  simultaneous  investment is needed by multiple players.
These  must  also  all  work  closely  together, including the automotive
industry,   the   energy   producers  and  providers,  the  research  and
development  community as well as governments on various levels – from EU
institutions to towns and city councils.