A voice out of the chorus, for authority and arguments, that of Domenico De Rosa, CEO of the SMET Group, who at Esperienza Europa “David Sassoli” in Rome took part in the meeting “Innovation and sustainability for the mobility of the future. The new European directive for zero-emission cars and vans: risks and opportunities for Italian and European industry’.
“Italy is responsible for 0.8% of global CO2 emissions, but in the name of the European Parliament’s and the Commission’s expiring political choice regarding the energy transition of mobility it is sacrificing the backbone of its economy,” De Rosa explained. “It would be a good idea for our country to wake up from this state of collective brain numbness and seek different and more sustainable paths to the necessary decarbonisation.
De Rosa’s speech is part of a debate that has been preoccupying EU leaders for some time and which has its origins in a measure dated 14 February 2023, when Parliament gave its final approval to new binding targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions from new cars and light commercial vehicles.
The approved legislation requires new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to produce no CO2 emissions from 2035.
The goal is to reduce emissions from these types of vehicles by 100 per cent in respect to 2021. Interim emission reduction targets for 2030 were set at 55 per cent for passenger cars and 50 per cent for vans. The European Council subsequently confirmed this approach.
The new European legislation for zero-emission cars and vans, which aims to promote the adoption of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, presents both opportunities and risks for Italian and European industry, as Domenico De Rosa pointed out.
On the opportunities side, the introduction of restrictions on conventional internal combustion cars could create opportunities for the development and production of zero-emission vehicles. This could stimulate demand for electric and hydrogen vehicles, opening up new market prospects for Italian and European manufacturers. Furthermore, the adoption of zero-emission vehicles will require significant research and development efforts to improve battery technologies, charging infrastructure and green hydrogen production.
Some countries, such as China, have made significant investments in the development and production of electric vehicles. This could jeopardise the competitiveness of the Italian and European automotive industry unless significant innovations and investments are made in the sector. The transition to zero-emission vehicles may also require a reconversion of production chains and an adaptation of existing infrastructure. This entails significant costs and challenges for automotive companies, particularly those that are heavily dependent on the production of conventional internal combustion vehicles.