EU obviously wishes to stop embracing all technologies

    Berlin, June 16, 2021

    Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), gives an initial reaction to the European Commission’s ideas regarding the distribution of CO2 reduction targets across Europe:

    “The ideas of the European Commission on reducing the fleet target values for new vehicles to zero as of 2035 would practically force the European automotive industry to market only battery electric vehicles. That would mean the end of the road not only for the internal combustion engine, but also for plug-in hybrids, and is the opposite of embracing all technologies – which the Commission and its Vice-President Timmermans have always said they support.

    “Restricting the technology to a single drivetrain option within such a short period of time is worrying and does not give any consideration whatsoever to the interests of consumers.

    “The transformation is a mammoth task that manufacturers and suppliers are tackling energetically. The auto industry is already putting all its effort into pursuing climate-neutral mobility. In Germany alone, the companies are investing around 150 billion euros in the transformation during the period up to 2025. So our firms are making a constructive contribution to reaching the climate targets.

    “The EU must now put the regulatory framework for a successful transformation in place. For this reason, it is also important to conduct an impact assessment that includes the economic and social impacts, which until now has unfortunately been missing. The effects on jobs, particularly those in the supply industry, will be considerable. A calculation by the ifo Institute on behalf of the VDA showed that with the existing EU targets about 215,000 jobs could be affected by 2030.

    “Achieving even the Commission’s current targets will require charging stations in all European regions – something that is not yet on the horizon. But the Commission is trying to avoid delivering on precisely this part of the deal. The Commission now has to ensure that establishment of the charging infrastructure is finally taken seriously in all EU Member States.”