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Stellantis CEO explains that Europe’s EV drive is fraught with social and environmental risks

Stellantis CEO explains that Europe’s EV drive is fraught with social and environmental risks

This view shows Stellantis’ logo at the factory entrance in Hordain (France), July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

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PARIS, January 18 (Reuters) – The European Commission’s strategy of phasing out combustion engines in favor of electric vehicles is a political move that carries social and environmental risks, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares explained in an interview with European newspapers.

Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot merged to create the world’s No. Tavares, the world’s No. 4 carmaker by production has devised a 30 billion euro ($34 Billion) electrification plan which helped Stellantis (STLA.MI.) share price surge more than 60% in their initial year. Continue reading

“What is certain is that electrification has been chosen by politicians and not by industry,” he stated in a joint interview to France’s Les Echos.

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He said that there were faster and cheaper ways of reducing carbon emissions.

He stated that an electric car would need to travel 70,000 kms, given the current European energy mix. This is to offset the carbon footprint of manufacturing the batteries and to catch up with a light-hybrid vehicle, which costs half the price of an EV (electrical vehicle).”

He also stated that European bans on thermal vehicles by 2035 will force carmakers to transform their plants and supply chains rapidly.

He said, “The brutality and impact of this change creates social risks.”

Tavares gave a detailed interview that touched on the many challenges Stellantis faces. He also reiterated his promise to not close down European plants.

“I generally keep to the promises that I make, but we also have to remain competitive,” he stated, citing in particular production cost in Italy, which was “significantly higher, sometimes twice as high as those in other European countries,” due in part to “exorbitant energy prices.

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He pointed out Rome, where government is working to reduce industrial costs. He stated: “It takes a while for the measures to become effective. We will revisit this issue at the end of 2022.”

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Reporting by GV de Clercq, Tassilo Hmel
Mark Potter Editing

Our Standards The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles

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