Page 6 - European Energy Innovation - autumn 2017 publication
P. 6

6 Autumn 2017 European Energy Innovation

Never waste a good crisis: how
Dieselgate must encourage us to
leapfrog right into the electric era

By Kathleen Van Brempt (pictured), MEP, Former chair of EMIS (“Dieselgate” inquiry committee)

We are at the dawn of a                       will end up in a sunset industry.        market. This needs both a technology
                     new era of electrified,                                           push and a market pull. We need
                     autonomous and           To foster the electrification of         more targeted strategic investments in
                     shared mobility. The     transport, we need to cross the “valley  research and development of battery
advantages of electric driving are            of death” between laboratory and         technologies, battery recycling, 3-D
overwhelming. Electric vehicles are
super convenient, chargeable at home
or at work, quiet and clean and don’t
fund oil dictatorships. In combination
with renewable energy, they will
contribute to the decarbonisation
of transport, helping us to meet our
climate targets.

The question is not whether this
revolution will take place, but when, at
what speed and whether the European
industry will play a role in the value
chains that will underpin it. Speeding
up the electrification of transport will
enable Member States and cities to
reduce air pollution in order to meet
the European air quality standards.
It will help the EU to deliver on its
promises made at the COP21 Paris
Climate agreement. Imagining them
as “computers on wheels”, electric
vehicles are well suited for car sharing

Speeding up the electrification is of
the utmost importance for European
industries. If they lag behind in this
revolution, they will soon loose market
shares once electric cars or mobility
services become cheaper than
combustion-engines. If we are not
able to bring European industries at
the forefront of the new powertrains
and batteries, future markets will
be flooded with imported cars and
business models. EU manufacturers

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