Carlos Tavares, the head of the PSA, the Peugeot, Citroën and last year’s Opel, has been among the top automotive managers for years. People know him for his often very prominent statements and he is also a great skeptic. Companies may share the mobility. Cars will be just for the rich.
“Our world is in chaos, and it concerns everything around us. Nobody can anticipate developments and changes in legislation over the next ten years, “says Carlos Tavares today’s troubled automotive situation for Autonoviny.cz magazine.
“Industry is pushed into electromobility. But responsibility for technical and scientific progress can not be determined by governments. We are now in a situation where technical progress is not in the hands of automakers, “explains Tavares. Last year they received the Opel brand from US General Motors. “Regulatory legislation is pushing for a certain technical solution. It is responsible for governments demanding it”, referring mainly to today’s enormous pressure to promote electromobility.
Problems on electromobility market
“The question is, where can we get a truly clean energy from the global point of view. Not only non-CO2-producing, but really carbon-free, and where the necessary batteries can we obtain. I am afraid we will not solve the same problems arising from electromobility in a few years. The case with diesel engines was diffent. Their expansion was the result of efforts by politicians to reduce CO2 emissions from 20 years ago, “he says, adding that he is not sure that anyone can really judge today from a societal point of view:” No one is dealing with the recycling process of batteries or whether it is there are enough resources on the planet Earth to produce the necessary amount.
The problem is that carmakers do not have the necessary credibility to negotiate these issues at the moment, politicians do not talk to them at all and do not care about them, “he explains. And it points to another serious problem: standards makers are totally out from reality and create standards that go not only against common sense but also against market requirements.
“A comprehensive look at the impacts and sustainability of massive electromobility is really lacking. I also miss the overall view of environmental impacts, user acceptance and infrastructure readiness, “says Petr Knap, expert in the automotive sector of consulting firm Ernst & Young, Tavares’ ideas. According to him, the political intention was here to solve the local urban traffic pollution from the technical and market realms. “But now we are already behind the point of return. We will have to experience the phase of the attempt to electrify passenger transport and then sober it. The part of passenger transport that will be electrified economically will be less than what politicians would like, “Knap thinks. “As Tavares says, no one can predict regulation and legislation for the next 10 years. Automobiles have to work with different scenarios and be maximally flexible and adaptable, “explains the car industry expert.
Legislation and limits
According to Tavares not only taxes, but many others things ifluence the free choice of mobility. “We have come to a state where the customer does not decide what is best for him. There is an increasing influence on the choice of legislation by the limits. “According to Tavares, we have come to a paradoxical situation.Nneither the manufacturer nor the customer decides what to sell. “Automobiles have already taught customers to offer what they want and to adapt to the current conditions. But it can not be at any cost. “
“Regulation and pressure to reduce CO2 emissions is directly against current customer demand for SUVs and crossovers. Similarly, significant regulatory intervention also means introducing new emission measurement procedures, where not only motoring, but also fuel-efficient cars will be priced to help cars meet emission targets, and secondly, in terms of market demand, “agrees Tavaresem Petr Knap of Ernst & Young. “In addition, emission reduction regulation is different on a global scale. Especially in terms of terms of compliance with emission limits, so global manufacturers have to deal with different regional requirements and therefore another market reality, “the analyst adds.
Carlos Tavares also warns of the enthusiasm of autonomous driving. “It should be remembered that cars equipped with these systems will be extremely expensive. Only a small number of customers will be able to afford them.”. According to Tavares, it will be more accessible to most people after their introduction transport services. “There is a risk that in the near future individual mobility will only be available for rich strata. There can be a dramatic change here. For us, mobility has been part of the democratization of society. But today we are aiming at dividing it with regard to who can afford individual mobility. “
Many cities are preparing an entry ban for cars with internal combustion engines. “So they become available only to those who can afford expensive electric cars. We are even going to prohibit the use of motorways for those who do not have autonomous control because they are dangerous to their environment, “Tavares predicts for Autonoviny.cz.
Future of automotive industry
Petr Knap does not think that electromobiles have to be absolutely inaccessible. “In a number of variants of battery price developments, total lifecycle costs can be matched between combustion drives and electric cars within one or two years. However, we must also not forget the need to address mobility outside agglomerations. There it is difficult to think about cost-effective shared concepts, and yet the need for individual mobility is even greater, “explains the auto industry analyst.
One of the consequences of current developments may be, according to Knap, significant segmentation of customers among groups with different mobility expectations. “We have never been in the history of the automotive industry before challenging so rapidly changing customer preferences and so unpredictable regulatory interventions. In addition, we are at the threshold of a new geopolitical situation where protectionism can be a very common attitude of the big countries and other complications for the currently set business models of large car makers, “concludes Petr Knap.