“The ramp-up of electric mobility is coming in Europe,” says Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). In a statement on March 2 ahead of next week’s Geneva Car Show, one of the biggest events on the global auto industry calendar, Mattes declared that the German automotive industry was “going on the offensive” concerning the transformation of the sector.
German OEMs will treble the range of electric models to around 100 over the next three years, supported by an investment in electric mobility of over 40 billion euros, says Mattes. A further 18 billion euros will be invested in digitization and connected and automated driving, he says. Without the strengthening of electrification efforts, Mattes believes the EU’s CO2 targets for 2030 will be unachievable.
The head of the VDA also called for appropriate regulatory conditions to support electric vehicle (EV) growth throughout Europe, charging infrastructure to be resolutely expanded, and for more buyer incentives to purchase EVs.
Despite economic and trade complexities in which the sector is operating, such as Brexit and trade conflicts between the US and China, and the US and Europe, Mattes maintained a positive viewpoint on the global passenger car market. Mattes predicts the 2019 market will be similar to the previous year (+1 percent to 84.9 million units), with the European market also remaining stable on 15.6 million passenger cars. The US market may contract slightly, to 16.9 million light vehicles, a two percent decline. China’s passenger car market could match the just over 23 million sales from 2018, depending on how current talks between the US and China progress, says Mattes.