A few days ago, the European Parliament formalized the stop to the sale of diesel and petrol cars, starting from 2035. The proposal had already been aired in the corridors of the Brussels building for some months. In these hours, the final decision has arrived, to the delight of environmentalists, policy makers green and politics in the name of “sustainability”.
Despite the great praise of a Europe that fights against the destruction of the planet, pollution and climate change, the vote risks generating at least three concrete risks, not only in geopolitical terms, but specifically from an economic and productive point of view.
The cost of an electric car
If we take into account the cheapest electric, the cost is from 20 or 22 thousand euros. Certainly an important figure, especially if we are talking about the lower-middle social class, which is also obliged to follow the imposition of Brussels from 2035. The problem does not concern the wealthy income brackets, but precisely those who own and use the same car every day. for over a decade: do they want to keep a Euro3 car because they are particularly fond of it or, as logic dictates, they cannot buy the electric Tesla because it is economically inconvenient? The answer, in fact, is spontaneous, immediate, obvious. Yet, it seems that, in the rooms of the European Parliament, this detail is not taken into consideration.
Moreover, as reported by Rachel Wolfe, on the columns of Fox Business, the electric car requires much longer support times than a simple diesel or petrol. And this culminates in the moment of recharging: “I hired an electric car for a four-day trip for two thousand kilometers, from New Orleans to Chicago: I spent more time charging it than sleeping”. Wolfe certainly admits the savings, of about $ 100 compared to a full tank of gas, but for a planned 7-hour trip, it took him more than 12. Almost double the amount set. Added to this is the lack of preparation – above all Italian – in the implementation of “sustainable mobility”, given the scarcity of columns in the cities.
The alarm of the jobs
In an economic context severely tested by the pandemic crisis and the continuous increase in inflation, even the choice of Brussels will have catacombs. A few weeks ago, in fact, the presidents of Confindustria del Nord launched a loud and clear alarm: if we do not act in the short term, there is a risk that 70 thousand jobs in the supply chain will skip. Indeed, as already said above: “It is not only a problem of seats, but also of coexistence for those who would be called to change the old car”.
The transition from diesel to electric will not only cause a change in social habits, but a real upheaval of what is the working, social and family life of each nucleus. And it is absolutely not taken for granted that this turns in a more advantageous direction.
The gift to China
The same Minister of Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti, defined the Brussels vote “an ideological choice”: “The fate of the car is not just electric, unless you want to make a gift to China which, on this front, is in front of everyone “. Well yes, why it is Beijing that is the capital of the hybrid car. The European Union is in danger of handing over to its main opponent, both economic and geopolitical, one of the few strategic sectors in which it excels globally.
These risks were also presented, well in advance, by Sergio Marchionne, a person who knew slightly more about automotive than European bureaucrats. The great entrepreneur not only remembered how “the emissions of an electric car, when the energy is produced from fossil fuels, are equivalent to a petrol car”, but that these vehicles are configured as “a double-edged sword” : it is the Chinese strategy to get the West out of the way of the sector of which he was founder and prosecutor. To date, as is evident, the EU is applying Beijing’s prerogatives to the letter.
In addition to the world of fairy tales, the planet to the “Little Prince”, there remain the concrete problems of reality, the needs that any assembly must face, before deciding on choices potentially capable of upsetting the life of each citizen. A sustainable policy can and must be done, but under certain conditions: are we willing to reconcile it with the needs of the human being, or do we want to pursue it indiscriminately? Unlike Beijing, Brussels appears to be applying the second option. And it will be suicide.
Matteo Milanesi, June 12, 2022
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