Thierry Breton doubts the 2035 deadline in Europe

Turnaround? A week after the adoption by the European Union of a ban on the sale of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with combustion engines and new hybrids in 2035, Thierry Breton expresses his doubts about what he considers to be ” the greatest industrial transformation that the European Union has ever known”.

In an interview with the newspaper Les Échos on Friday 4 November, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market insists on the social and economic problems posed by the European decision, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030 by compared to 1990, then to aim for climate neutrality in 2050. Concerns shared by Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, for whom the transition to all-electric will have “major social consequences”.

A social cost

We anticipate that going electric will destroy 600,000 jobs “says the former French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, between 2005-2007. He adds that the European Union must ensure that the price of an electric car remains accessible to all, because ” an electric vehicle is now 27% more expensive than its petrol equivalent, i.e. around €56,000 “.

Important challenges

Added to this is the problem of the electricity supply to these cars. He believes that in “ 2050, it will take 150GW of electricity power to power electric vehicles. It’s 15% more than France’s current electricity capacity. “On assesses the need for 7 million terminals from 2030, he adds. But we are only at 350,000, 70% located today in France, Germany and the Netherlands “.

Finally remains at avoid imposing new dependencies on us “, because the production of electric cars will increase European needs for critical raw materials: ” it will take fifteen times more lithium, four times more cobalt, graphite. And three times more nickel by 2030. »

Continue the production of thermal cars

I respect the fact that some decide to accelerate towards a 100% electric offer, but I also encourage manufacturers to continue to produce thermal cars “, insists Thierry Breton. The Commissioner recalls that he insisted that a “ review clause in 2026 be added to the text when it is written. He says he is committed to bringing together a group of major manufacturers every three months to prepare for this deadline, because “ we will have to approach the appointment of 2026 without taboo. This clause would make it possible to postpone the deadline of 2035, if necessary.

According to him, Europe must also maintain market share in thermal cars in continents such as Africa or Latin America, which ” will experience a much slower transition to zero-emission vehicles. Without making a cross on the objective of fighting against global warming, Thierry Breton specifies that it will be a question of selling ” cleanest thermal vehicles possible “.

The Euro 7 standard

The Commissioner thus reaffirms his attachment to the new Euro 7 standard which should be voted on in the autumn. Scheduled to come into force in 2025-2026, it should reinforce the anti-pollution standards applied to new thermal cars. In particular, fine particles from braking and tires will be controlled.

Thierry Breton also wishes to discuss with manufacturers the technologies that should be developed in the ” fuel chemistry, mechanics and thermo-combustion », which he does not exclude.


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