Emissions Huitema (Acea): “Europe needs a realistic roadmap”

To reduce the emissions of cars and commercial vehicles, Europe needs a “more realistic” roadmap, adapted to the operational context and, above all, “shared” with all the parties involved in order to avoid a “huge” social and economic impact. is convinced by the director general of ACEA, Eric-Mark Huitema, who, in a message addressed to European legislators, criticized the report recently presented by MEP Jan Huitema to the European Parliament’s Environment Commission on proposals submitted last year by the highest executive body in Brussels.

Unrealistic goals. For the CEO of ACEA there are not a few weaknesses in the relationship: for example, the absence of a link between the CO2 reduction objectives and the proposed modification of the Regulation on infrastructure for alternative fuels (AFIR) makes targets “unfortunately unrealistic”. “The Commission’s proposal for a 55% reduction in CO2 by 2030 (compared to 2021) is already very challenging,” adds Huitema. “It would only be possible with a massive upgrade of infrastructure to reach a total of around 7 million points of recharges, compared to the 3.9 million proposed by the Commission and just over 200 thousand available today “. And, among other things, it is not certain that the 7 million “would be enough”. Thus, “Europe needs a realistic roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality and the automotive industry has the right technology at its disposal. However, to be sure that a sufficient number of Europeans buy “zero-emission cars and to” thus reach the ambitious CO2 targets, the strategy needs to be accompanied by binding targets for charging infrastructures “.

Too hurry. The representative of the manufacturers also lashes out against the decision to change the objectives to 2025 already today because there would not be “enough time to adapt”, given that the development times of vehicles and production cycles can vary from four to eleven years. Therefore, Huitema asks that no changes be made to the current legislation and that everything be postponed to 2028: “We firmly believe that a target for 2035 should be set as part of the 2028 revision, rather than now. It is simply too early to set a 100% CO2 reduction target – which the Commission has proposed and is essentially a ban on the internal combustion engine – at a time when there are still too many open questions. For example, how will infrastructure develop and how will the consumer response be in the coming years? And what kind of revolutionary technologies will arrive on the market between now and 2035? “

Huge impact. Huitema therefore underlines the need for greater coordination between those who deal with the new CO2 legislation and those who are drafting the AFIR (the responsibility lies with the Transport Commission), especially in view of the coming months: between April and May the final opinion of the Commission and Parliament’s vote at the end of May. The discussion with the European Council on the final text will then start. The dg then launches a warning: “If the ambitious CO2 targets are not accompanied by realistic objectives for the diffusion of infrastructures, or if the times are not aligned with what is practically possible, the social and economic impact of a poorly managed transition towards zero-carbon mobility it will be enormous. ”Citizens risk, for example, facing” mobility poverty “due to the excessive cost of cars and manufacturers of not meeting demand. Therefore, the new targets “may not have the expected effect.” “If unrealistic targets or premature ‘de facto’ bans on combustion engines come into effect, even fewer Europeans may be able to buy a new car with emissions. low or none. In reality, policymakers need to do more to ensure that no country or citizen is left behind and that zero-emission vehicles are within everyone’s reach, ”continues Huitema, thus underlining the need to manage the structural transformation of the automotive supply chain in “A careful and socially acceptable way” to guarantee citizens a “just transition” and to allow manufacturers and suppliers the possibility of avoiding “serious job losses”.

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