Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said on Monday at the Paris Motor Show that the European Union’s proposed 2035 ban on fossil-fuel cars should be renegotiated to give hybrid models a greater role in the transition to zero-emission vehicles.
“It’s essential,” Tavares said during a news conference at the Paris auto show, when asked if talks on the ban were needed. “The dogmatic decision that was taken to ban the sale of thermal vehicles in 2035 has social consequences that are not manageable.”
Tavares’ comments come as the EU is currently finalizing a package of climate proposals, which currently includes banning the sale of new fossil-fuel vehicles from 2035. Under the EU’s proposals, plug-in hybrids would only count as low-emission vehicles until 2030.
Tavares said forcing a transition to electric vehicles (EVs), which are more expensive than fossil-fuel or hybrid equivalents, will make car ownership unaffordable for many.
“If you deny the middle classes access to freedom of movement, you are going to have serious social problems,” Tavares said.
“What we have to offer our European leaders is a transitional solution,” Tavares said. With a mild hybrid you can maintain “the affordable size of these vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent,” he added.
Some automakers have embraced hybrids, especially plug-in hybrids, as a bridge technology to get to full-electric vehicles and have argued that after investing billions of euros in the technology they should be allowed to sell them for longer.
Automakers, suppliers and economists have also argued that going electric will cost tens of thousands of jobs among workers who make components for or assemble internal combustion engines.