Stop to petrol and diesel cars: 13 questions and answers

Does the European Parliament vote block the sale of thermal cars? What is the aim of the EU? What happens to the auto industry? Some answers

Alessandro Conti


– Milan

After the vote in the European Parliament on the package of measures Fit for 55 Will it be forbidden to buy new petrol, diesel, hybrid, LPG or methane cars from 2035? Here are some answers.

This is the initiative promoted by the European Commission, presented last July 14, with the aim of containing climate change by reducing the production of climate-altering gases. This is a package of 12 interventions on large sectors of the economy that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 to 1990 levels. between what is produced and removed from the atmosphere), by 2050 at the latest.

Emissions, how much do cars weigh?

One of the chapters of Fit for 55 it’s about transport. It is estimated that vehicles with internal combustion engines contribute to 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. About 70% of this share is produced by land vehicles, the rest is attributed to airplanes and ships.

The part of Fit for 55 what is it about cars?

The measure on cars provides for a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions from 2030, followed by a definitive cut of 100% from 2035. This means that from 2035 it will be technically impossible to sell cars with internal combustion engines, including hybrids. and rechargeable hybrids.

What happened to the European Parliament?

The plenary session held in Strasbourg, among the various chapters of the package, also expressed its opinion on the measure concerning cars with 339 votes in favor, 249 against and 24 abstentions.

Is it a final vote, is the measure law?

No, the European Union procedure involves several steps. In essence, the measure approved by Parliament has now returned to the Commission, which activates the interinstitutional negotiations envisaged by the European regulations with the EU Council. The meeting in the Council is set for June 28th.

Are there any critical issues affecting the entire package?

One of the 12 measures being voted in Parliament concerned the Ets (the trading system for emissions quotas) which also includes the disputed Ets II, with which the objective was to tax the CO2 emitted by road transport and boilers, including domestic ones. . The majority split. The measure passed the plenary vote but the socialists decided to block the entire reform. The Ets chapter, together with the parts dedicated to the Social Climate Fund and carbon tax at the borders, then return to the Environment Committee.

The reasons of the supporters of the Commission

According to the speaker of the car chapter, the Dutch Jan Huitema (Renew or liberals), the stop to 2035 of the sale of thermal cars should “strengthen innovation, give clarity to manufacturers and stimulate the production of more zero-emission car models. , with the creation of a market for second and third hand electric cars “, so as to make them accessible to everyone, even the lowest incomes, and” not just the rich “.

Cost difference between traditional cars and electric cars

At the present time, the differences in purchase price remain between electric cars and the corresponding ones with traditional engines. According to the estimate of the International Energy Agency, the average selling price of an electric car in China is 9% higher than the weighted cost of national sales, while in Europe and the United States the price difference reaches 45- 50% additional.

How heavy is the automotive industry in Europe?

There are approximately 12.7 million direct and indirect employees in the European automotive industry, equal to 6.6% of the active workforce in the Old Continent. According to the continental manufacturers’ association, the sector pays taxes for a total of 398.4 billion.

What is the auto industry doing for the technological transformation?

The figures involved are billionaires. A few examples. Plan Give Forward 2030 of Stellantis aims to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2038 and a 50% reduction by 2030. Renaulution of Renault last year foresaw a cost cut of three billion and a phase called Revolution from 2025. With the industrial plan New Auto the Volkswagen group has allocated 73 billion euros in technologies and digitalization for electrification. One of the first groups to present a grand plan for decarbonization was the then Daimler, now Mercedes, in 2019: it’s called Ambition 2039 and foresaw an investment of 40 billion euros in electric vehicles. That said, the native electric manufacturers are not watching: Tesla’s investment in the Berlin factory, inaugurated last March, is worth four billion euros.

What are the energy sources in the EU?

In Europe, according to the latest available Eurostat data relating to 2020, in the European Union the main source of energy is oil and its products. The second source is natural gas, followed by renewables and biofuels in constant growth over the last 30 years. Then nuclear power, solid fossils and basically a macro-category of other energy sources.

Also according to Eurostat in 2020 transport consumed 28.4% of energy. Domestic consumption follows for 28%, industry for 26.1%, services for 13.7%, agriculture for 3.2% and other sectors for 0.6%.

What happens to employment in the automotive supply chain with the transition to electricity?

This is a knot not only unresolved but for now, in fact, almost unaddressed. In fact, it is known that fewer personnel are needed to assemble an electric car. A research by the German union of metallurgists Ig Metall claims that the ratio between workers in the construction of diesel engines and electric motors is 10 to 1. According to the Italian association of the automotive industry Anfia, in our country there are 73,000 jobs a risk, out of a total of almost 270 thousand, with the production of electric cars.

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