Stellantis CEO finally admits governments are forcing auto makers to build EVs

It was about time somebody said it out loud

3w ago
26.8K

I apologize in advance because this is gonna sound like a rant. That's because it is. I first drove an electric car, the Tesla Roadster S, in London in 2010 (and then again in Milan a few months later), back when nobody in Europe had even considered using electric motors for anything other than home appliances. I immediately fell in love with the car, not because it was 'green' or because it felt like a novelty, but simply because it was mind-blowingly, break-breakingly fast off the line.

Electric cars gradually but quickly gained traction and I ended up driving a bunch of them, simply because, for the longest time, nobody else really cared. Eleven years later, the merits and the failings of electric cars are clear to me. But none of this really matters because we absolutely must understand that going electric is not a deliberate choice. It is something car makers are being essentially legally required to do.

Every single EV-themed article/story I've ever written, without fail, has attracted comments of the same tenor: "electric cars are s**t", "they're not actually that green", "what about range and batteries?" Everybody knows that producing and recycling batteries is a problem. Everybody knows that range and infrastructure are still an issue. Everybody knows that the electricity you need must come from somewhere and that's not necessarily green. I've responded to every comment by saying that while everybody is entitled to their own opinion, it must be clear that this is a false choice, so whatever you and I think is irrelevant.

I want to emphasize this: car makers are building electric cars because they are being made to by governments. This is something we must understand. And I'm very happy that Carlos Tavares, CEO of the newly-born mega-group Stellantis, has finally admitted it.

During the 'Financial Times Future of the Car', summit, Tavares openly said that “the scientific decision on the choice of this technology hasn't been made by the automotive industry”. And he added that governments should carefully consider the implications and the true cost of forcing everybody to buy EVs.

He cited many reasons and made many points, all of which are extremely logical and compelling. “In one decade, mobility devices will be 300-500kg heavier than today,” Tavares said. “That will bring to the table the topic of materials. The scarcity of them and renewable ones".

"No one should forget where the decision has come from: it’s not the automotive industry. Governments are surfing on public opinion [about building more EVs], which is fine with me, but you need to understand the science, the full lifecycle analysis – not just the tailpipe emissions, which aren't the same”. He also added that quite apart from anything else, electric cars are still too expensive for the masses.

I don't know where this is gonna go. I don't know whether 10 or 20 or 30 years from now we're still going to be driving ICEs, or EVs, or horses. All I know is I hate virtue-signalling with a passion. And I hate it when institutions and/or institutionalized companies aren't transparent. It's like walking into a restaurant and looking at the menu just to be told you can't have beef or chicken and you can only have a salad because "it's good for you", when the real reason is they won't give you beef because the powers that be have decided salad is all we're getting from now. At least be honest about it. At least Tavares was, so kudos to him.

How do you feel about this?

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Comments (103)

  • Lithium, used in EV batteries, is not a renewable resource. WE NEED SYNTHETIC FUELS!

      27 days ago
  • Stellantis also admits it had acquired to many companies and will probably go bankrupt.

      27 days ago
    • "French Leyland"

        27 days ago
    • *CEO of FCA and PSA puts Leyland into Google Translate from English to French*

      Google translate: Stellantis

      Pretty sure that's how they came up with the name.

        27 days ago
  • I hate that governments are taking away this choice for us, governments shouldn't be involved in this stuff. You can like EVs all you want but forcing them on us is not very good. So I say this to the governments of the world " sincerely F*ck you!"

      26 days ago
    • But that’s the whole point of governments. Where individual choice can not or does not result in good outcomes for the population as a whole you have laws and policies to inhibit the individual harms to the benefit of the whole. That’s why we...

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        26 days ago
    • with a few exceptions, governments are generally useless at everything. And they should leave people alone

        26 days ago
  • One possible answer would be to vote for sensible people at the coming elections, wouldn't it?

      26 days ago
    • Yes

        26 days ago
    • yeah but the problem is we (my country) haven't had the equivalent of a "general election" for around 12 years. Every single head of state we've had since was either a technocrat appointed by the EU or a "yes man" appointed by washed-up...

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        26 days ago
  • oh well

    someone had to say it

      27 days ago
103