CLEPA fully supports the objectives of the Green Deal. In fact, automotive suppliers design and manufacture all of the components and systems that are needed to achieve the ambitious goals for road transport. Our members invest heavily in new technologies and create the new product portfolios needed to achieve smart, safe, and sustainable mobility.
However, the face of the industry will change as a result of the transition to electric powertrains, including the restructuring of production sites and the workforce.
The automotive manufacturing sector is directly responsible for more than 8.6% of EU employment in manufacturing. In 13 EU Member States the sector represents more than 5% of the overall manufacturing employment, highlighting the industry’s critical role across Europe. More than 60% of these workers are employed by automotive suppliers (1.7 million).
Automotive suppliers alone currently employ about 600,000 people, whose work depends on the internal combustion engine. The livelihoods that depend on those jobs need to be taken into consideration. The production of battery electric vehicles will create new employment opportunities, but overall is less labour intensive. It is therefore critical that we assess what different policy approaches would mean for employment and the realisation of climate targets
In a first of its kind study, PwC Strategy&, assesses the impact of three different market scenarios: a mixed technology approach, the current EV-only approach proposed in the Fit for 55 package, and a radical EV ramp-up approach, on employment and value-add across the EU and individual members states along the automotive supply chain to 2040.
The study highlights the risks of an EV-only approach for the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people working hard to deliver the technological solutions for sustainable mobility. As automotive suppliers are responsible for most of the manufacturing employment in the automotive industry, it is critical that we put these jobs front and center when managing the social and economic impact of the transformation. Innovations by automotive suppliers have made electric mobility increasingly accessible for consumers and an essential instrument to meet emission reduction targets. But society’s needs are far too diverse for a one-fits-all approach. A regulatory framework that is open to all available solutions, like the use of hybrid technologies, green hydrogen, and renewable sustainable fuels will enable innovation as we redefine mobility in the coming decades.
Social disruption due to a badly managed transition could severely undermine the ability of the European Green Deal to succeed and could cause long-term damage to our economies and societies. A mixed technology approach, including rapid electrification, would help mitigate risk and create a more manageable transition. It is imperative that the transition happen in a thoughtful and deliberate way that preserves industry competitiveness and jobs, while not compromising on climate targets
A regulatory framework that is open to all available solutions, like the use of hybrid technologies, green hydrogen, and renewable sustainable fuels, will enable innovation and choice as we redefine the future of mobility. As not all electric vehicles run on renewable energy, the term “zero emissions” is misleading.
To incentivise technologies with the lowest overall carbon footprint, emissions from vehicles should ideally be regulated on life-cycle basis, with a Well-to-Wheel approach as a first step, which considers the production and distribution of the fuel/electricity used to power a vehicle. The introduction of a voluntary fuel crediting mechanism, which enables an additional option for automakers to fulfill the fleet-wide CO2 targets with volumes of sustainable renewable fuels, should be recognised in the upcoming revision of the CO2 standards for cars and vans.