Europe’s Automobile Manufacturers Call For Improved Conditions For EVs

Europeans automotive manufacturers are cautious about EV’s future as they feel the current situation could cripple the potential for this technology’s expansion.

E-mobility has the potential to play a key role in ensuring sustainable mobility for the future, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). However, the ACEA cautions that under the current conditions it is unlikely that this full potential can be met.

This is partly due to the current economic situation, with declining sales of vehicles in Europe.

Per the ACEA, it is to a large extent also due to slow progress in charging standards, the fragmentation of internal market as a result of uncoordinated approach to market incentives, a lack of dedicated support for R&D, and no clear and unified vision on infrastructure.

“E-mobility can be part of a long-term solution to our mobility challenges. However, we need to have the right framework conditions if it is to really take off,” said Ivan Hodac, ACEA secretary general. “It will only be possible to book real progress if there is full cooperation between utility providers, infrastructure companies, the energy sector, standardization bodies and the automotive industry – with the full support of national governments and the European institutions.”

Standardizing the connection between the electricity grid and electrically-chargeable vehicles is one of the prerequisites to help e-mobility gain a viable market share says the ACEA. It provides predictability to investors, enables economies of scale, reduces costs for all stakeholders and is essential in increasing user acceptance.

The industry has stressed the need for a single harmonized plug system for the recharging of electric vehicles on both the vehicle and the infrastructure sides, and already agreed on a joint proposal for an EU-wide charging system last year.

However, the industry in general is very concerned by the lack of progress in creating the framework to meet these goals.

The ACEA says this was one of the key incentives for its members to revise their position on electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs) and to lower their expectations for the future market share of these vehicles.

The ACEA now forecasts the future market penetration of ECVs to be in the range of 2 percent to 8 percent for the next decade, with significant differences among manufacturers depending on their individual strategies.