E-fuels exemption could spark “chaos” in EV push – Stellantis boss

“I’m fine to go full speed on EVs, and demonstrate to the world that I am the best EV maker. I’m playing that game, full power in a regulatory framing that is given to me. Then the question: is this regulatory framing the best for the societies? Is that the best for the planet? And then we could write a book about that.

“On E-fuels, we have made sure that our engines are e-fuel-friendly, just in case. Now we are going to let those stakeholders demonstrate that the fuel is really carbon neutral and that one day, the costs can be the same level.

“It’s funny, because from a political perspective, what do they say? They immediately go on ‘communications’ about saying, well, that’s the fuel for the rich. That’s a very attractive communication because if you say it’s for the rich, everybody will say: ‘Oh, okay, we don’t care, it’s just for the rich’.

“What if there is a breakthrough? What will we do with the gigafactories? What do we do with all the transformation that we have been making as an industry, who is going to pay for that? And when they [politicians] see that risk, they start saying: ‘well, we did not impose the technology’. What! What are you saying? You see the legal stuff coming? This is a question that you should be raising.”

Tavares said he had no concerns over Stellantis’s ability to survive and thrive no matter the regulations, and said the firm would be “one of, if not the only survivor”. Instead his broader concerns were with the disruption it would have on societies due to the flip-flopping of legislation and the instability it caused a huge industrial industry employing millions of people. 

“I’m worried about society, I’m worried about Europe, I’m worried about the Western world, which means if you want to bet that everything is going to be steady for the next 20 years you are making a big bet. So nothing is going to hurt the smooth implementation of a strategy that needs 20 years of stable conditions?”

On other topics, Tavares didn’t rule out a gigafactory for Stellantis in the UK but that the decision was ultimately in “the hands of those who decide the size of the market” and as such “was not a Stellantis question”. He said he was open to adding to the five gigafactories already committed by the firm to anywhere that had access to clean energy, the right logistical costs, and not trapped by raw material sourcing regulations.

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