Electric is required for passenger cars

A Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid (left) and a Toyota FT-EV II electric compact concept are displayed side by side at an auto show in Guangzhou, China, 20 December 2010. Tyrone Siu/Reuters files

While electric vehicles dominate passenger cars by 2040, solutions for heavy vehicles (buses and trucks) remain more open, according to a report published last Thursday by the French Institute for Petroleum and New Energy Sources (Ifpen). Despite the higher purchase price, electric vehicles are already competitive in terms of cost of use, “assuming the battery has a capacity of less than 60 kWh,” Ifpen highlights in this report, written in collaboration with the Environmental Protection and Energy Agency. “The payback period in the future will be even shorter as technical improvements and the cost and impact of battery manufacturing decrease,” the authors state.

In addition, the use of limited capacity batteries will require the use of more energy efficient vehicles to maintain sufficient autonomy, “in particular, reducing aerodynamic losses and vehicle weight”, which is contrary to current market trends. prefers SUVs. Plug-in hybrid cars, for their part, offer “a real environmental and energy benefit for passenger cars”, provided they are recharged very regularly. In addition, in 2040, when progress in energy density and battery mass is still expected, for an equivalent vehicle type, “electric vehicle consumption should decrease by about 30% compared to 2020,” Ifpen predicts.

But switching to electricity may not be enough to meet the targets of the European Green Deal (90% fleet CO2 emissions in 2050 compared to 1990), Ifpen warns. “We will also have to change our behavior in terms of mobility and car buying. The downward trend in demand for new vehicles without a break in the choice of modes of transportation and without optimizing the use of vehicles will have little effect on the decarbonization of the automotive sector,” the institute believes. However, by 2040, hydrogen using fuel cell technology will remain “uncompetitive for passenger cars” “due to high acquisition and operating costs,” Ifpen finally emphasizes.


On the other hand, Italy, backed by four other countries, is proposing to delay until 2040 the end of sales of thermal vehicles in the EU compared to 2035 in a Brussels proposal currently being discussed by member states, according to a document seen by journalists. As part of its ambitious climate plan, the European Commission proposed in July 2021 to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars in the EU to zero from 2035, which would de facto stop sales of petrol and diesel cars in favor of all-electric engines. The European Parliament approved this 2035 target in early June, and Member States must now try to agree on a common position during the meeting of European environment ministers tomorrow Tuesday in Luxembourg.

However, the Italian proposal, signed by Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia, calls for a five-year delay in the calendar to avoid “disproportionate and unnecessary costs for the automotive sector and consumers.” This text proposes to introduce a 90 percent reduction in emissions from the sale of new selected vehicles in 2035 before reaching zero emissions in 2040. “To achieve zero-emission mobility, obstacles must be overcome: expanding charging infrastructure, developing battery manufacturing, improving existing technologies in a cost-effective way, introducing incentives for consumers,” Rome argues in this paper. The industrial ecosystem of subcontractors and SMEs will also take time to adapt to new components and technologies. The automotive sector is an important industry for Italy, as for other signatories.

Germany, where the car also has significant economic weight, is defending waivers aimed at expanding sales of e-fuel (from carbon-free electricity) internal combustion engine vehicles.

Source: AFP.

Source: L Orient Le Jour

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