During an industry seminar in Brussels today, Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volvo offered his views on the critical push toward vehicle electrification.
“Volvo Car Corporation urges the EU to coordinate incentives whilst supporting research and development,” said Jacoby. “The European automotive industry risks losing the present technological leadership if this doesn’t happen.”
Delegates from the EU Commission, academia and the automotive industry are today debating the key issues and challenges to reach the EU emission targets.
Whilst there has been no official target set for the implementation of electrification within the EU, industry studies indicate that several member states are overestimating the speed at which electrified vehicles are being introduced.
The European Commission’s own study, “A European Strategy on Clean and Energy Efficient Vehicles,” forecasts only 3-4 percent market share for battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by 2020, with a rise towards 30 percent expected by 2030.
“Both predictions are unrealistic, said Jacoby. “Considering the lack of coordinated governmental incentives and the high battery system costs, the market share for electrified vehicles will struggle to pass the one percent mark by 2020.”
One main reason preventing a rapid increase of electric vehicles on roads around the globe, not only in Europe, is that the cost for the electrification technology is not being reduced fast enough.
“The automotive industry’s cost reduction efforts can’t fully compensate for the additional battery system cost,” Jacoby said. “Pan-European subsidies and incentives are needed to support a successful market introduction. Unfortunately such necessary initiatives are jeopardized by the current debt crisis.”