Almost every auto major in the world has now committed itself to a future driven by electric mobility, but the current world scenario still begs the question that is going electric the only solution for climate control? Well, recently the CEO of the Renault Luca de Meo stated his thoughts on the same and said that he believes the entire auto industry rushing toward an all-electric future could hurt the environment. He said that moving hastily could have undesired consequences on the entire world climate.
Meo during a summit organized by the Financial Times where leaders from major automakers were present said, “The first thing I want to say is that Renault is very committed to electric cars. We started here quite early, and we still believe that electric vehicles and perhaps hydrogen could be a good solution for some applications. But if we look at the data, it becomes clear that sales of combustion engines – including hybrids – have not yet reached their peak. There are challenges across social, financial and environmental perspectives that must be considered.”
He further added that although EVs are suitable for a large number of buyers to fulfil 85 percent of their daily usage they will not be suitable for the occasional long journeys. Meanwhile, Meo also stated that lifetime CO2 emissions of EVs need to be closely considered. He went on to add, “Then there is the lifetime CO2 – the cradle-to-grave figure – for a car, the answer to which is not so obvious. Some alternative fuels, or hybrids, can be cleaner than EVs on these measurements, and then there is the financial accessibility of EVs. We see price parity around 2025, but now that might have moved because of raw material inflation.”
Furthermore, de Meo feels that stringent EV rules that will be implemented in markets throughout the world could harm the environment by stifling investments in improving existing combustion engines and fuel technologies. As of yet, the Renault chief is not the only person to warn about this transition in the mobility sector. Earlier higher-up executives from Volkswagen, BMW and Stellantis group have also voiced their opinions on the same.
However, despite these comments, Renault is still significantly investing in electric vehicles and presented the Megane E-Tech, an all-electric small crossover built on the same platform as the Nissan Ariya, in September. The car is available with 40 kWh and 60 kWh battery packs, and a 130 kW fast charger can provide 248 miles (399 km) of range in 30 minutes.
In other Renault news, the automaker stated that it will make a decision in the coming weeks on the future of its activities in Russia, where it ceased operations in late March following the invasion of Ukraine. The CEO stated that “Negotiations are still ongoing, but we also know that we’ve been working for 10 years investing a lot of money there so we are also here to protect our assets and what we’ve done.”