Following on from the European Commission’s strategy to phase out internal combustion engines (ICEs) in favour of electric vehicles, carmaker Stellantis’ CEO Carlos Tavares has expressed his scepticism on the choice in a joint interview with European newspapers Les Echos, Handelsblatt, Corriere della Sera and El Mundo.
“What is clear is that electrification is a technology chosen by politicians, not by industry,” he told the papers. “Given the current European energy mix, an electric car needs to drive 70,000 km to compensate for the carbon footprint of manufacturing the battery and to start catching up with a light hybrid vehicle, which costs half as much as an EV.”
While Tavares had previously ensured that Stellantis would not be shutting down European production plants, he has since edited the statement to clarify that the company must remain competitive and, in countries like Italy where energy costs are higher, that may not be feasible. Tavares stated that, although the municipal government in Rome is aiming to bring down these costs, the implementation of strategies may take longer than the company can withstand.
Since merging Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot-maker PSA Group, Tavares mapped out a €30 billion electrification plan that helped Stellantis shares rise over 60% in its first year. The company intends to announce a new long-term strategic plan on March 1.