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
– 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.