Thierry Breton new thermal champion?

Would the beautiful unanimity be broken? Europe, which speaks with one voice in favor of going all-electric by 2035, seems to have experienced some dissonance in recent days. After the declarations of Thierry Breton, European High Commissioner in charge of the internal market from Brussels, along with Clément Beaune, French Minister of Transport from Paris, official doubts are beginning to arise.

During a debate with the European press last week, the Frenchman from Brussels was confident and explained that he had the revision clause in 2026. Quèsaco? It is a device provided for by the 2035 agreement, which allows a balance to be made in four years, to judge the progress of technologies towards total electricity and, if necessary, to postpone the deadline. “Every three months I will bring together a group made up of the main manufacturers and all the other operators to identify the difficulties in the implementation of this mega transformation.“.

The Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, shows his solidarity with Thierry Breton.

The arguments used by Thierry Breton to carry out such an emergency braking are well known: 600,000 jobs destroyed, overpriced electric cars, scarcity of raw materials and recharging infrastructure far from being at the top. But while we thought that the European commissioner was isolated in a European concert acquired in the electrical cause, this weekend he was joined by Clément Beaune. The French Minister of Transport has shown solidarity with Breton for the review clause, but also for the study of an alternative to the fully electric one.

Thierry Breton, who also makes another argument: that of the world regions that will not switch to all-electric. Since the spring, he tweeted at this address. explaining that “If the EU ends the sale of heat engines after 2035 in Europe, this does not apply to the rest of the world “.

Thermal reserved for emerging countries

Is the argument admissible? From a purely economic point of view, it is not. Because if, indeed, the countries of South America, Africa and part of Asia will continue to be able to buy thermal cars, these will be models manufactured, and sold, at low cost. An economic model incompatible with manufacturing in Europe and therefore would not solve the deindustrialization of the continent and the consequent social breakdown. Furthermore, all manufacturers are already committed to the big all-electric transformation and are unlikely to give up the risk of losing the billions involved.

If implemented, the Euro 7 standard will force manufacturers to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 50%.
If implemented, the Euro 7 standard will force manufacturers to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 50%.

This reluctance to go back seems to be perfectly understood by the High Commissioner who indicated that “this decision is final, and that everyone must invest in the new electricity value chain”. In this case, why blow hot and cold?

Perhaps to show relative solidarity with certain industrialists like Carlos Tavares, and above all with a European population that is not very convinced? Or, more pragmatically, that manufacturers accept and apply the Euro 7 emissions standard, the last step before total electricity and that they must sign in 2025 or 2026.

A reluctance shown to better accept the Euro 7 standard

The manufacturers do not want it, because they believe that the application of this standard represents for them additional investments in pollution control for a model that will last less than ten years, and that they already have a lot to do elsewhere. They prefer to go directly to 100% electric and the reluctance towards 2035 shown by the High Commissioner, who wants to offer a (small) future to combustion, could well be a way of convincing them to sign the last waltz of gasoline. engine of automobile history. On the other hand, the High Commissioner in charge of passing the pill of the Euro 7 standard to the manufacturers is called Thierry Breton.

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