De Rosa (SMET): “Let’s not pull the plug on endothermic engines: that’s not what the market wants.”

De Rosa (SMET): “Let’s not pull the plug on endothermic engines: that’s not what the market wants.”

Among the many central and properly strategic issues for the future of the European Union is that of electrification and new sustainable mobility. In particular, the new green deal is pushing the Union toward an acceleration that, SMET CEO Domenico De Rosa says, has been far too hasty. The transition cannot happen with the “legally mandated” timeframe.

De Rosa pointed out how so many automotive companies have turned around and returned to the endothermic engine. “Not least,” De Rosa recalled, “Mercedes-Benz, which until a few days ago was aiming for total electrification by 2030. I want to remind them that you don’t move toward energy transition by force of law, forcing the market to a single solution.” Domenico De Rosa emphasizes the distortions associated with strong incentives for electric, which go against the will and interests of consumers. According to a Deloitte survey, the liking toward the heat engine and for gasoline and diesel cars has gone from 19 percent to 30 percent. “This is the reason why the electric vehicle will never be taken by the market as preponderant and will reach, at most, 30 percent market share. Moreover, we are talking about an interested segment necessarily compatible with their mobility needs and vehicle electrification and charging.”

If in Europe the reasoning on electrification still seems to be in its embryonic stage, in the United States the call from automakers is to avoid hasty and false steps. “Even Apple has cancelled its program to create electric vehicles,” De Rosa recalls, “synonymous with the fact that the direction of the future is by no means one of pushed electrification. Investors and analysts applauded this decision by CEO Tim Cook because it removes Apple from the difficulties of that market segment.”

The request coming from manufacturers is to ease the demands of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). It has set a goal in the United States to reduce vehicle emissions by 56 percent for cars produced between 2027 and 2032. To do so, it has called for increasing the share of electric cars sold to 60 percent by 2030, reaching 67 percent by 2032. This demand, however, is being resisted by the manufacturers, who are also supported and legitimized by the consumption and liking data of North American citizens.

“We cannot force the market in the name of ideology,” De Rosa continues. “Environmental sustainability must be pursued through a controlled transition that respects the development time of technology (not just electric). There are a number of factors that have not been properly evaluated by the Union. The process of converting factories and upgrading automakers, the large amount of infrastructure work (which can occupy several years), and the affordability and real needs of consumers are being lost sight of.” The SMET CEO stresses that “there is a need for a policy that is appropriate and commensurate with production needs and that takes into consideration the environmental impact globally. We know very well, and I do not tire of saying this, that Europe accounts for less than 10 percent of global emissions. We cannot ignore this fact,” De Rosa concludes.