Phasing out of ICE

Regarding the regulation currently in progress to prohibit bringing new cars with local emissions into the market by 2035 I think this is not really ambitious. Likely by then cars with internal combustion engine will play no role in the market any more.

Should we push for a more ambitious plan?

Should we push for decarbonisation of the legacy fleet?

Or do we have ideas to stimulate a faster move to electric cars?

In any case further delays to make the move is going to endanger the European automotive industry. Chinese manufacturers are ramping up much faster. There is a flurry of start up companies with major funding that are starting to push into the international market while the established players in Europe are dragging their feet. This not only delays the move to cleaner traffic, it also is a classic case of sleeping at the job during a major disruption.

In term of industry, pushing for a faster electrification ruling will simply fasten the adoption of chinese electric vehicules in Europe, making the european OEM out of buisiness. The chioeese are ready with low cost electric vehicule while europe has virtually no entry level electric car.
At the moment the industry is not ready at all to switch to full electric cars, mainly becasue of battery supply chain, llack of available plateform, and lack of developement process to continue the way of doing vehicule in the 21th century.
15 years to phase out complitely from ICE (means out of hybrid vehicule as well) is very fast.

As for your second point, the decarbonisation of legacy fleet is indeed a good angle that we should investigate. At the moment I don’t know any program from OEM on this point, but I guess that could be a goal of a european policy to encourage such initiatives.

Lastely, your first point is unfortunately a bit tecchno solutionist. Having a more ambitious plan means that industry should be ready for this, which is not the case. the 2035 is already quite ambitious in term of ICE. Now ICE could also be powered by hydrogen or next gen synthetic fuel. There are even other lever that can be activated to decarbonise the transportation market such as redeveloping railway, encouraging carsharing services, developping public transport or easing the cycling practice in cities. For me a general ambitious plan on decabonisation is then much broader than only transport and include energy as well (production as well as consuption).

What I fear is that the European industry will try to ignore the trend as long as possible (or longer than possible so to say).

12 years (until 2035) is a very long time in a disruption. And we are in a disruption. The large scaling companies, like Tesla and some Chinese players, are already at a point where they can produce electric cars cheaper than ICE cars. And that gap will grow.

My current estimate for the German car manufacturers is that VW is likely to make it, though they will shrink. Mercedes is on the way into the luxury niche. BMW is quite likely to not make it. And the worlds largest player, Toyota, seems to be very much on the way of hitting the wall at top speed.

Anyone betting on hydrogen or eFuels is going to lose. This is the same idea as back in the 1980s when some thought intelligent typewriters are the better alternative to the computer.

According to my sources from the Škoda electromobility industry, they were anticipating a push even before the FF55 pack was adopted and are apparently adequately prepared for the transition. As such, at the slightest, the Czech automobile industry should be able to restructure effectively.

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They are part of VW so they have access to the VW e-plattform and contribute to it. Stellantis also looks like they are on a rather good way.

Though the weak spot for the European car makers will be the production capacity for battery cells. Fortunately that is also moving including accessing local resources for raw materials rather than relying on that stuff coming from somewhere.

Just to let you know: European Parliament adopted the phased out of ICE by 2035 for car manufacturers: (an EU fleet-wide target to reduce CO2 emissions produced by new cars and vans by 100% compared to 2021). Intermediate emissions reduction targets for 2030 are set at 55% for cars and 50% for vans. (full text here - press release of the EP).

Yes, I know and I think this is a joke. By 2035 it will be very hard to find anyone willing to buy a new ICE car.

I honestly see no benefit in pushing for even faster phase out. We have a Parliament position of 2035 and we will have enough trouble defending that. Advocating for even faster phase out will both be unrealistic in terms of political reality and even more importantly it would really be irresponsible policy making. After spending years on finding targets (that are now even somehow alligned with the rest of the world) changing them right after finalising a deal and moving them forward would really be a very disruptive step.

About the preparedness of European automakers: they are ofc trying to get as much time as possible, because more time means more gains from already designed and produced old vehicle lines. After spending some time with both representatives of the makers and journalists, I would say they should be able to make 2035, however especially with all the lithium problems and capacity rising a bit slower than anticipated pushing them more could really really put them into trouble.

Also, let us please not forget that the roll out of the needed infrastructure in member states has been MUCH slower than needed.

David, yes, there will be push back. We already see that from the so called liberal party in Germany, who are trying to stop this.

Though I think that 2035 is a joke. In the German market I expect pure ICE cars to be marginalized by the end of 2025 with the hybrids then getting pushed out within the next 3-4 years. Norway is leading this development, they are already at the point I expect for Germany by the end of 2025.

There is no lithium problem outside the yellow press and the lobbying of ICE car makers. And lithium is no the only option. The first car with a sodium ion battery has just been introduced. Though for the time being this will mostly be used in lower end cards due to the lower energy density, but it will most likely play a big role in getting down prices for lower end cars as well as for stationary energy storage.

Infrastructure is something that will need political push but will also gain traction with increasing pull from the market. On the policy side a reform of the electric energy market would be the most important step.

It is getting worse:
https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/czechia-germany-team-up-for-synthetic-fuel-use-after-combustion-engine-ban

Sorry, there are some really important caveats in what you are saying.

Norway is a particularly bad example. It gave out massive subsidy to e-cars: subsidy made from Norway´s fossil money. Not many countries can actually repeat that model. 2025 seems like really a bit optimistic date for e-car dominance in Germany, but hey, even if that would be the case, most of the countries would struggle a LOT more, with Bulgary, Romania and others without a realistic chance to do similarly.

On lithium - I would not say it´s just yellow press:) and the way from “we have first models” to “we have viable alternatives” can be really quite long. It´s the right direction, but we are not getting there tomorrow.

Especially because of the worsening situation we should really just stick to the deal, not try to break it from the other side than Germany/ Czechia now.

Disruptions do not wait for those who do not understand them. Europe will lose most of its car industry to China if the reluctant course is continued.

Norway is a perfectly good example. It shows how fast transition can go if properly stimulated.

Lithium price alone is not a sufficient indicator. Are you aware of the mining projects that are ramping up?

Funny enough, the statements of the car makers all sound alike. They don’t want any delays for the ICE phase out and no efuels.

Audi, VW, Ford, Stellantis, they all want to stop making ICE cars much sooner.