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MAHLE criticizes EC CO2 regulation proposal for abandoning technology neutrality

Last week, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels (Fit for 55). (Earlier post.)

One element of that economy-wide set of proposals is requiring average emissions of new cars to come down by 55% from 2030 and 100% from 2035 compared to 2021 levels. As a result, all new cars registered as of 2035 will be zero-emission.

Commenting on the set of proposals, automotive component supplier MAHLE noted that climate protection is the key task for the shaping of mobility, and said that it welcomed the definition of a path towards climate neutrality.

However, MAHLE does not consider that the proposals made by the Commission maintain the balance which is required between environmental protection, technology and employment. MAHLE charged that the Commission has finally abandoned the approach of technology neutrality.

The prescription of specific technology is in contradiction with the principles of a free market and competition to which MAHLE is committed. This approach will jeopardize value creation and, in the final resort, employment in Germany and Europe.

—Michael Frick, CFO of the MAHLE Group and Chairman of the Group Board of Management (ad interim)

Under the proposals of the EU Commission, CO2 emissions of vehicles will continue to be determined solely on the basis of exhaust emission measurements to reach the 55% reduction by 2030 and 100% by 2035. There will therefore be no further basis for sustainable alternatives such as plug-in hybrids and non-fossil fuels although these could make a significant contribution to CO2 reduction or even carbon neutrality, MAHLE said.

MAHLE itself is forging ahead with its technological and structural transformation, Frick said. Currently, 60% of the group’s sales are not dependent on internal combustion engines for road vehicles.

MAHLE is committed to a technology-neutral triple blend for the future: electric drive systems, fuel cells and smart, sustainable internal combustion engines operated on non-fossil fuels.

On the basis used for calculation by the EU Commission, the target of carbon neutrality will lead to a steep rise in new vehicle registrations from less than 10% all-electric vehicles at the present day to 100% in 14 years. Such a rapid pace of transformation dictated by politicians would be unprecedented in the history of industry, MAHLE said.

In the opinion of MAHLE, the proposals of the EU Commission will constitute an intervention in global competitiveness. MAHLE anticipates significant impact on industrial locations in Europe and especially Germany.


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