04 Sep 2018

ACEA WARNS FOR NEGATIVE JOB IMPACT OF FORCED ELECTRIC CAR PUSH

A recent report by FTI Consulting reveals that the European Commission underestimates the impact of a forced push for electric cars on EU employment. In Europe the automotive industry accounts for more than 11% of total EU manufacturing employment.

ACEA, representing the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers, states that according to the FTI report, which brought together the results of various recent studies, a rushed shift to full electric vehicles will have a profound impact on employment. This is because the production and maintenance of battery electric vehicles is less labour intensive than conventional ones, given their lower mechanical complexity and fewer parts.
There could be serious implications for the entire automotive supply chain, disproportionally affecting suppliers of parts and components, according to a UBS study cited in the FTI report. Europe’s automotive suppliers are expected to produce roughly 38% less parts and components for electric cars, compared to a loss of around 17% for automobile manufacturers. The study points out that many of these suppliers in the EU are SMEs, who are likely to struggle more with making the transition in a short timeframe than car manufacturers.
Today, the auto industry accounts for more than 11% of total EU manufacturing employment. In 14 regions across the EU – concentrated in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom – the automotive sector even accounts for more than 20% of total manufacturing employment. A forced push to electric cars will disproportionately affect jobs in these regions, according to the FTI report.
Also ACEA points out that policy makers must face the fact that the EU will become extremely dependent on rare-earth materials and batteries produced outside of Europe. What is more, even if batteries were to be produced on a large scale in the EU, these findings show that the positive employment impact would be small and would require skills which today’s manufacturing employees are unlikely to have.


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