Stellantis CEO Says Politicians, Not Automakers Pushing For EVs

Electric cars feel inevitable. Automakers across the board are investing in the technology while making bold promises to transform their entire lineups into EVs. Some even announced deadlines for the transition. However, according to Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, the rush to electrification isn’t coming from automakers but politicians, which could come with risks.

Automotive News reports that Tavares told a European media scrum that “the brutality” of Europe’s ban 2035 ban on internal combustion engines could create “social risk.” The deadline is forcing automakers to quickly transform their factories and supply chains in order to meet the new government regulations. He had previously promised not to shut down any European plants, but he also noted that Stellantis would “need to remain competitive” in the recent interview.

Tavares also noted that there are better ways to reduce carbon emissions that are cheaper and faster than transitioning to electric vehicles. Tavares said that an EV would need to drive 43,000 miles (70,000 kilometers) to begin compensating for its carbon footprint. Light hybrid vehicles could significantly reduce carbon emissions while being cheaper for customers to buy and for automakers to design and manufacture.

Stellantis announced last year that it would invest more than 30 billion into electric vehicles through 2025, with all 14 brands in the Stellantis portfolio planned to offer fully electric vehicles. The company’s electrification plan included introducing 20 electrified nameplates by the end of 2023, with some brands, like Alfa Romeo and Lancia, becoming heavily electrified lineups as soon as 2027.

We’ll get a more detailed look at the company’s electrification plans and efforts on March 1, when Stellantis will announce a new long-term strategic plan. Stellantis might be making bold promises just like other automakers, but the transition won’t be easy as they navigate meeting government regulations and developing new propulsion technologies.

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