x
Breaking News
0

Build batteries or lose jobs, auto bosses tell Europe

Stock MarketsSep 13, 2017 10:55AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. Headquarters of the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) is seen in Frankfurt

By Emma Thomasson and Georgina Prodhan

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Europe shouldn't rush to abandon the combustion engine and must build up its own production of electric car batteries to compete with China, auto suppliers and manufacturers said at the Frankfurt motor show.

The comments come as the future of the car has become a hot topic in campaigning ahead of Germany's Sept. 24 election, especially after Britain and France announced plans to eventually phase out combustion engines to try to cut pollution.

Roberto Vavassori, president of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), warned a headlong rush to electric cars would hand business to China, which along with South Korea and Japan dominate battery production for such vehicles.

"We need to provide a sensible transition period that doesn't give unwanted gifts to our Chinese friends," he said, estimating European automakers were paying 4,000-7,000 euros ($5,000-8,000) to China for batteries for every electric car.

Vavassori called for a European drive to develop the next generation of battery cells. He said carmakers and politicians should look at other ways of cutting vehicle emissions too, such as more efficient engines and synthetic fuels.

Germany's Daimler (DE:DAIGn) and Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) both announced plans on the eve of the Frankfurt show to accelerate their shift to electric cars.

The head of Volkswagen's core auto division said on Wednesday that European industry should come together to create a regional supplier of batteries.

"For the initial phase, I still feel in good hands with the Korean suppliers, but I would appreciate if competition were to grow and a European consortium would emerge," VW brand Chief Executive Herbert Diess told Reuters.

"EUROPE AT RISK"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has raised the possibility of state support to bring chip and battery production back to Europe and her Social Democrat challenger Martin Schulz has also called for investment in cell production in Germany.

The stakes are high, with the auto industry as a whole providing around 12.6 million jobs in the European Union, or about 5.7 percent of the total.

Trade unions have been putting pressure on manufacturers to make electric cars in existing factories and invest in battery production in Europe, rather than outsourcing the work to Asia.

"Self-contained value chains are a central pillar of our industrial model and play a big role in the success of the German economy," Joerg Hofmann, president of the IG Metall union, told steel and car industry members on Wednesday.

CLEPA's Vavassori said Europe was lagging behind in the production of sensors and microchips, as well as batteries, and there was a risk in relying on Chinese supplies given geopolitical instability.

"We need production in Europe for vehicles of the future, or we put all Europe at risk," he said.

Many in the car industry want governments to focus on setting targets to bring down carbon dioxide emissions, rather being prescriptive about quotas for electric cars.

"Mandating certain percentages of certain technologies doesn't take us to the best solution," said Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche, who currently chairs ACEA, the main European carmakers' association.

On Wednesday, ACEA offered to further cut CO2 emissions by 2030, albeit dependent on uptake of electric cars.

Germany's Robert Bosch, the world's biggest auto supplier, is keeping its options open, optimizing the combustion engine and also exploring synthetic fuels, which could use existing filling stations and engines.

"This is a faster way of limiting global warming," said Bosch chief executive Volkmar Denner. "We are doing this alongside electric vehicles."

Build batteries or lose jobs, auto bosses tell Europe
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Write your thoughts here
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post
Post also to:
1000
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments
Sep 13, 2017 12:26PM GMT
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Yep
Reply
0 0
Sep 13, 2017 12:24PM GMT
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Happy
Reply
0 0
Sep 13, 2017 12:24PM GMT
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
True
Reply
0 0
Sep 13, 2017 12:23PM GMT
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Yep
Reply
0 0
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post 1000
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
 
 
 
Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Add Chart to Comment
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email