The electric car: why the motivation doesn’t work

it hasJust when you thought it had turned green for good, the electric car now sees an orange light flashing at the end of its hood. With a big deadline, the European elections (June 8 and 19), which, according to observers, could call everything into question. In fact, the EPP, a large center-right party in the European Parliament (25% of the seats), says it is determined, according to its president Jens Gieseke, to review the 2035 deadline for ending the Old Continent’s thermal engine. . He believes that it is likely, not without reason, the “Cubanization” of the last thermal vehicles, which would be kept under constant perfusion, like the Americans in Havana before 1961.

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Perhaps driven by car manufacturers and equipment suppliers, especially the Germans, the EPP intends to make it the main focus of the next election campaign. After the rejection of the Euro 7 standard last month, “every citizen, in his opinion, will have to analyze in detail the program of the competitors and will have to check which is the course of action they will take between thermal and electric”. A recommendation that protects European rights.

The mistake, surely, was pitting one technology against the other, when they should have evolved in a complementary way. Without prohibiting one, without promoting the other too much, it was necessary to achieve a progressive ecological transition, leaving arbitration to the market. Instead, we are witnessing a regulatory diktat given by politicians who “know” little about industrial reality. A “tsunami of regulations and restrictions” inflicted with the stroke of a pen on an inherently inflexible industry, a victim of frenzied lobbying by the green parties in Brussels.

As a result, we have imposed a profound change on European manufacturers, and, worth a billion euros, we are rolling out the red carpet like the Chinese flag for the new dragons completely dedicated to electricity. Last week, the leader of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares predicted a “blood bath”. due to these risky decisions and the price war initiated by the Chinese. A European investigation was also launched to examine the accounts of local manufacturers. Condition, they open the books to inspectors elsewhere, but in this area, the experience of Covid is already amazing. This involves detecting whether these new bridgeheads have been unfairly favored.

The Trump Method

After smart phones, home appliances, consumer electronics, solar panels, computers, the Chinese automobile is on the rise and becoming the new vector of invasion. BYD has just become the world’s number one electric car, ahead of Tesla on its home turf and prompting Elon Musk’s first alarmist move. MG (SAIC group) is experiencing triple-digit sales growth, starting from zero in mid-2020. But the sale of almost 35,000 cars to the French in 2023 clearly shows how, by cutting prices on already competitive models, the Chinese will crow in the nest of Volkswagen, Peugeot, Renault and others.

Another electoral criterion should have a lot to do with it: the American presidential election on November 5. If Donald Trump were to be elected, someone with more Texas sympathies than California, a big V8 pick-up rather than an electric compact should shake up their respective games. Europe or China are one thing, selling classic technology “made in USA” cars with attractive prices that the Chinese can’t get is another. The answer is basic but effective. Faced with obstacles to the ease of use of the electric car and the fog of its true cost, Europe can face the fact that it can deal with it, despite the insubstantial support that should disappear. A good reason for historical manufacturers not to draw a definitive line on the thermal car beyond 2035, which will still be allowed outside the Old Continent.

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