Why are low-emission cars so expensive?
“The cost of batteries is not competitive. If you push the supply of batteries to Asia, the price goes up. The [EU] rules should coincide with the introduction of a European battery maker. It’s not coordinated or planned strategically. Where is the charging network investment? It’s not a 360deg approach and there’s a lack of rigorous planning. This is serious stuff – the EVs are there and for sale. These are €30,000 (£26,000) vehicles, and there’s no decent charging network. This problem is not all about the car makers.”
What is your view on the EU emission regulations introduced in October last year, requiring fleet average CO2 emissions to be reduced by 45% from 2020 levels by 2030?
“We are being held hostage by the October vote. An impact study for this doesn’t even exist. We need to protect the competitiveness of our industry. At PSA, we will survive and adapt. But when the EU moves in a speedy way, what happens to the ecosystem of partners, suppliers and dealers? If you shift suddenly, something is going to break. People are not aware of the consequences.
“Around 40% of the total cost of an EV will move to Asia [due to batteries sourced there]. Did the EU have a mandate to send jobs to Asia? We need strategic coordination. Asking these questions is not pushing back against the regulations. Who has the big picture in mind? Where are the charging networks? What about well-to-wheel CO2? What if a different technology comes in, such as hydrogen? The money is then wasted.”
Is PSA considering any partnerships?
“We’re not looking for any. We’re generating the cashflow necessary to pay for our future – we can make enough money. But if the opportunity comes, we will consider it.”