De Meo (Acea) now hopes for a postponement of the thermal ban – 02/28/2024 at 8:36 p.m.

Archive photo of Luca de Meo, general director of Renault

Luca de Meo, general manager of Renault and current president of the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (Acea), said on Tuesday he hoped for a slight postponement of the application of the ban on thermal engines in Europe, set for 2035 .

“I hope that the ban will apply a little later, because I think that we will not be able to do it without damaging the whole industry and the whole European automobile value chain,” he said. he said in an interview with Agence France Presse on the second day of the Geneva motor show.

“For the moment, the rule is that new thermal cars will be banned from sale in 2035. Basically, we asked for a later date because we thought the deadline would be too short. It is in the hands of the legislator. I hope they will listen to what we were saying at the beginning.”

The European calendar provides for a review clause in 2026.

The words of the president of Acea go further than those he made on Monday during a press conference of the association at the 91st Geneva Motor Show.

“It is potentially feasible, but the right conditions must be put in place,” he said, before adding: “We are not contesting 2035. Now we must get on with it.”

A spokesperson for Acea, whose members are due to meet in the coming days, estimated that the president’s line had not changed since he had stressed on Monday that the automobile industry would not succeed in reaching the objective of 2035 only if the conditions were met: in particular the deployment of charging infrastructure, access to cheap green energy as well as purchasing aid and favorable taxation.

“ACEA members… have invested 250 billion euros in electrification, more than the GDP of several member countries taken together,” she told Reuters. “But it is clear that the impact of this ambitious goal (of 2035) has not been thoroughly evaluated by legislators. As is too often the case, they have put the cart before the horse.”

Political leaders and professionals in the sector are currently wondering about a review, or even a withdrawal of the ban on thermal engines decided as part of the European objectives of decarbonization of the continent, in the event of a shift to the right of the European Parliament after the election of June.

(Report by Gilles Guillaume, edited by Tangi Salaün)

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