CLEPA Newsletter Editorial July 2018 – Electrification is name of the game

Press release

The proposed ambition level of the post-2020 CO2 emissions legislation for cars and vans will drive the rapid transformation of the automotive landscape both on the road – with a significant amount of electric and electrified vehicles to deliver daily mobility – as well as in the automotive industry, where alternative propulsion technologies will become a regular part of manufacturing practice.
 
Automotive suppliers are fully immersed in this deep transformation, as they manufacture everything from electric drivetrain to advanced combustion engine solutions, to hydrogen and other alternative fuels-based technologies. As long-standing innovation and solution providers, suppliers industrialise those technologies that help make transport safe, smart and sustainable.
 
So what does this mean in reality? It says that the supply industry focusses on results – emissions reduction – not on picking a winning technology. CLEPA is concerned, however, that the level of ambition demanded by some members of the European Parliament amounts to exactly the opposite.
 
Electrification is a popular pathway and for good reasons. But there are more solutions needed to achieve Europe’s obligations under the Paris agreement. In the 30% reduction scenario outlined by the European Commission, a substantial electrification of the vehicle fleet is already assumed: the impact assessment estimates a share of around 45% comprising mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. This assessment is, in fact, conservative. Industry estimates the figure to be at least at 60% and very possibly much higher than that, as technologies will increasingly be combined to meet emission targets as well as serve a broad variety of transport needs in a tailored way. In other words: higher reduction targets are not necessary to trigger a transformation which is unmistakably already underway.
 
Importantly, ‘electrification’ is the name of the game, not ‘electric’.  In future mobility, electric and combustion will go hand-in-hand in many forms and variations. Different technologies serve different mobility needs and circumstances, often in one and the same car: a mild-hybrid can drive emission-free in the city supporting air quality targets, and drive CO2-efficient once outside the city border. This is where technology leadership and innovation come to play.
 
Different technologies are the trade mark of the European automotive supply industry. Its solutions are in demand and needed around the globe. Automotive suppliers are champions of innovation and transformation, both indispensable traits in a sustainable economy. The sector forms a key part of the European manufacturing base.
 
In sum, CLEPA supports realistically ambitious reduction targets and stresses the importance of a technology neutral approach to reduce emissions in the most efficient, most innovation-inclusive as well as least disruptive way. In that respect, CLEPA recognises the tough balancing act of the TRAN and ITRE committees voting last week on their respective opinions. Specifically, suppliers welcome the support for eco-innovations reflected in the position of the committee for Transport and Tourism as well as for the inclusion of synthetic fuels in the scope of the legislation, and a stronger recognition for hybrid technology in the so called ‘benchmark’.
 
The opinion of the committee for Transport and Tourism will be taken into consideration by the leading committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in the preparation of its vote in September and subsequently the vote in the Plenary of the European Parliament (EP), which is scheduled for October. Once EP and Council have decided on their respective positions, inter-institutional negotiations to adopt the regulation will start. CLEPA will continue actively informing the debate.
 
 
Wishing you a nice Summer break,
 
Sigrid de Vries CLEPA, Secretary General
 

Note to the editor:

CLEPA represents over 3.000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over 20 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe employ nearly five million people across the continent.

For more information, please contact: Pilar Perez (p.perez@clepa.be)