One of the world’s largest manufacturers warns about the price of electric cars

Stellantis supports the shift to electric mobility, but warns that if times are too short, the market could suffer and the industry could collapse. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Stuck with no way out or pressed for time? There are not a few voices that began to be raised about the car market 15 years ago. Although you can use files Alternative technology such as hydrogen or e-fuelsthe truth is that The cars that will be sold almost everywhere in the world between 2035 and 2040 will be electricFor some time, these will coexist with used internal combustion engine cars manufactured until the middle of the next decade.

But renewal will come unabated at some point, and industry leaders have to be prepared for this new scenario. Big business is planned for the long term and decisions, whether good or bad, must be made early. While The world still looks with some disbelief at how much pollution comes from manufacturing a car, how polluting batteries are or their ability to be recycled, how long lithium will live in the world until it becomes more expensive and polluting to extract, and when sustainable electricity will be generated so that greenhouse gas savings are not carried over from Car exhaust into the chimneys of electric power plantsThere is another problem that cannot be avoided: The cost of electric cars

It’s expensive, in Europe no electric car can be bought for less than 20,000 euros, and in the United States it’s not less than $25,000. It is not much different in other markets, although in China Japan There are small cars that can be purchased at prices ranging from $4,500 to $13,000 to change. The problem is that these cars are only sold in your country, and although they are in Europe similar concepts begin to emerge, no less than 12 or 13,000 euros.

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, said once again that industry times and policy times seem to go their separate ways.
Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, said once again that industry times and policy times seem to go their separate ways.

Charles TavaresAlways very practical CEO of StellantisHe has always cautioned against the difference between factory times and political times. It often tends to highlight that the good thing about electrification, which the group accompanies an enormous variety of products across all of its brands, can be swayed very quickly by the transformation intended to be forced.

And now a senior executive of one of the brands Stellantis has decided to make a statement in the same vein, despite a larger dose of rudeness. As reported by Bloomberg, DS Head of Production, Arno DebuffAnd I stated this after announcing the agreement of the European Union countries to Phasing out engines running on fossil fuels by 2035, the auto industry is ‘doomed to fail’Unless electric cars become cheaper.

If electric cars don’t get cheaper, the market will collapse.”was the literal expression of the executive branch, stating that if battery-powered cars do not lower their price, The parking lot will shrink in the future, and that will put the industry in general in a bind.

Of course, as marked by the laws of commerce, The more massive the product, the more competitive its price and the lower the costs. Stellantis, without going any further, expects a 40% cost reduction by 2030, However, in order to reduce certain numbers, there are operations that have to be cheaper as well, and Obtaining raw materials for manufacturing electrical components is still expensive With little chance of backtracking.

Citroen AMI is a low-cost city electric car compared to conventional electric cars, but it is still out of reach for many users.  Photograph: Charles Plateau/Reuters
Citroen AMI is a low-cost city electric car compared to conventional electric cars, but it is still out of reach for many users. Photograph: Charles Plateau/Reuters

On the other hand, there is a small looming crisis related to the batteries. As a general rule, the vehicle should be considered Manufactured locally in Europe, and does not pay certain duties or taxes, its components must be mass-produced on the mainland. However, even if they work Against the clock in factories and giant factories In many countries, it seems unlikely that they will mass-produce until the next decade or the last years of the current decade.

This makes dependence on China, or Asia in general, almost inevitable for cars made in Europe, and this casts a cloak of doubt about the possibility of keeping costs low, precisely because of that dependency.

“Rising demand for electric car batteries between 2024 and 2027, that is, before more European capacity comes online, will benefit Asian producers and put ‘at risk’ cell production in the West.”Tavares said.

Building more battery plants and buying their own lithium mines to ensure raw materials are some of the actions the major automakers are trying to take. But this does not guarantee that the price will fall sufficiently, and if, as is known, by 2030 at the latest, but much sooner in some cases, governments decide Stop subsidies or schemes to help access an electric vehicle People, the slope may be steeper.

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