Deep Focus: Europe's auto industry and the global electric vehicle revolution

Jan 08, 2019, 11:03 AM

Bruegel fellows Reinhilde Veugelers and Simone Tagliapietra elaborate on the recent Policy Contribution they co-authored on the European automotive industry in the light of the global electric vehicle revolution.

Electrification is a key trend transforming the global automotive industry, especially in the light of increased decarbonisation efforts. The speed at which the technology is being developed and the decreasing production costs make for a rather optimistic prognosis for future global deployment of electric vehicles (EVs). The automotive sector is undoubtedly an important one for the EU economy, yet it has lagged behind in terms of both EV manufacturing and deployment.

In this episode of Deep Focus, Sean Gibson interviews Reinhilde Veugelers and Simone Tagliapietra, the co-authors of a recently published Policy Contribution on the EU automotive industry and the global EV revolution. European manufacturers have extensive experience, robust R&D projects and a large internal market, but can they make the switch to EVs sufficiently fast to remain competitive? To answer that question, Reinhilde and Simone outline the current picture of China's industry and point to the lessons that can be learnt from their electrification success story. While Europe cannot and should not adopt the centrally planned policy measures, a more comprehensive policy framework combining both demand- and supply-side instruments is necessary to bring the industry back up to speed.

The research discussed in this episode is available in full in the Bruegel Policy Contribution, "Is the European automotive industry ready for the global electric vehicle revolution?", by Gustav Fredriksson, Alexander Roth, Simone Tagliapietra and Reinhilde Veugelers. For further reading, we recommend a blog post on low carbon technology exports by Georg Zachmann and Enrico Nano.