An x-ray of the changing automotive sector – Companies

The automotive sector is experiencing its biggest upheaval since its inception a good century ago. A CRISP dossier provides a detailed analysis.

The electrification of vehicles is a subject of tension and controversy. CRISP (Center for socio-political research and information) decided to deal with this in one of the Weekly Mail, entitled “The mutation of the automotive sector”. A 90-page document, drawn up by Fabienne Collard, which carefully examines the changes in employment with more or less pressing obligations to switch to zero-emission vehicles, through the European decision to limit the sale of new cars to CO2-free cars. from 2035, and of low-emission zones that are stricter.

The electrification of vehicles is a subject of tension and controversy. CRISP (Center for socio-political research and information) decided to deal with this in one of the Weekly Mail, entitled “The mutation of the automotive sector”. A 90-page document, drawn up by Fabienne Collard, which carefully examines the changes in employment with more or less pressing obligations to switch to zero-emission vehicles, through the European decision to limit the sale of new cars to CO2-free cars. from 2035, and of low-emission zones even worse. A detailed analysis in 90 pages that prefers posed analyzes to specific sentences. It is one of the rare documents that offers a detailed analysis of the measures taken over the years to reduce vehicle emissions, whether the toxic pollutants (nitrogen monoxide and dioxide, microparticles in particular), which refers in the Euro categories (5, 6, near 7 ) or greenhouse gases, including CO2, which are not the same: CO2 is not toxic. It also examines the challenges of electrification, from cars to taxation, including the development of terminal networks and electricity needs. Among other things, the study highlights several paradoxes. The weight of cars partially cancels out their environmental effectiveness The first is the paradox of the rebound effect. It “matches the set of economic and behavioral mechanisms that cancel out some or all of the energy savings resulting from efficiency gains.” So for gasoline-powered cars, the rebound effect translates into a cancellation of efforts to reduce emissions “through an upward trend in kilometers traveled and an increase in the average power and weight of vehicles used .” Official average emissions are decreasing, but in Belgium the number of cars increased by 66% between 1990 and 2019, the number of people transported by 26%. In addition, manufacturers have obtained CO2 emission standards (95 grams of CO2 per km beyond the period 2020-2024) are modulated according to weight, so that heavy vehicles (SUVs and others) are not penalized too much. , in fact the German manufacturers. “What encourages manufacturers to be overweight, those with sales strategies are motivated in this sense by the greater demand for XXL cars” says Fabienne Collard in her study, which also recognizes that part of the weight comes from growing safety requirements. This topic created tensions between France and Germany, the first manufacturing cars on average lighter than the second. Note that an average car, in Europe, weighs 1415 kg in 2019, 12% more than in 2001, and an average power 37% higher. In Germany and Sweden, this average is 1493 kilograms and 1598 kilograms. Car taxation is starting to take this weight change into account, in particular the road tax and the TMC project in Wallonia. Ambiguities of manufacturers about electric cars The second paradox is related to electric cars. All manufacturers have an electrification strategy. Some speak doublespeak. “Behind the wall, the historical builders adopt (…) a discourse that is sometimes paradoxical: they complain about the frantic pace of change to which they are forced, while extolling the merits of their new electric model, although to decide. that they are to fight to maintain, to see to strengthen, their market shares. The first believes that ACEA cannot prevent the European Commission to end the sale of fuels -powered car in 2035. For Volvo, the reason is the opposite, the brand believes that ACEA is not ambitious enough in terms of clean cars and is still looking to acquire some gasoline-powered engines after 2035, with e-fuels, while Volvo bets on electrification from 2030 for all its vehicles. 2021, while electrification experiences a strong accelera tion in 2022. Don’t talk about “zero emission” carsFinally, Fabienne Collard argues for the designation of “zero emission for electric cars. “By definition, a car on the road will never be ‘zero emissions’. It is also difficult to talk about ‘green’ cars because of the concerns expressed by some scientists about the exploitation of the resources needed for the production of batteries, whether it is the scarcity of these resources or the environmental damage caused by their extraction.”

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