Electric cars may make driving too expensive for middle classes, warns Vauxhall chief


Vauxhall Corsa-E [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]

Car makers are getting nervous about the high cost of electric cars compared to fuel burners. Sales figures for EVs aren’t impressive, and uncompetitive prices are just one of several negative factors. Being pushed around by climate-obsessed governments is causing problems, to say the least.
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Driving could become the preserve of the rich as Britain and other countries around the world impose bans on diesel and petrol cars and embrace electrification, the boss of Vauxhall owner Stellantis has warned. The Telegraph/Yahoo Finance reporting.

A global rush to go electric could make cars too expensive for the middle classes, said Carlos Tavares, chief executive of the world’s fifth-biggest car maker – and it may even fail to significantly reduce carbon emissions because the vehicles are so much heavier than petrol ones.

The comments are the most outspoken public criticism of electrification by any car boss and will likely cause consternation in Downing Street, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said new fossil fuel cars will be banned from 2030.

He said: “I can’t imagine a democratic society where there is no freedom of mobility because it’s only for wealthy people and all the others will use public transport.” The pandemic has underlined the public’s dependence on cars for “personal mobility” and this should be seen as a fundamental right, Mr Tavares said.

Car manufacturers are confident about making vehicles that can meet environmental goals, he said, but added this could drive up prices. A petrol Vauxhall Corsa starts at £16,000 while the company’s cheapest electric version, the Corsa E, costs £26,400, although the price difference is narrowing.

Mr Tavares said: “How can we protect freedom of mobility for the middle class who may not be able to afford €30,000 for a battery electric vehicle when today they pay half that for the same product with a conventional engine?

“If we make mobility only affordable for the wealthy people, we will not have a strong impact because we will have a fleet of old cars which will continue to emit.”

The chief executive, who was speaking at a Financial Times conference, hit out at governments for forcing the automotive industry to switch to electric cars rather than considering other low carbon technology which might have been cheaper and easier to produce at scale.

He said: “The scientific decision on the choice of this technology has not been made by the automotive industry.”

Electric vehicles are typically between 300kg and 500kg heavier because of their battery systems, Mr Tavares said, meaning they need more energy to power as a result. If they are charged up using energy from coal or oil fired power stations, this could ultimately mean emissions are higher.

Full article here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop


May 13, 2021 at 04:45AM

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