Europe’s transport and mobility sectors are at the start of an unprecedented transformation. For the vehicle industries and those in the value chain including the aftermarket sector, zero-emission mobility is the near future, demanding a significant restructuring of business models, manufacturing processes and innovation. As data, AI and connectivity begin to deepen their integration with vehicles and transport networks, the potential to drive insights, efficiencies and services becomes ever more apparent, promising improvements to traffic management, safety, diagnostics and repair, while boosting and enabling European and global climate objectives.
Arguably, electrification is now also essentially mandated, with EU rules stating that cars and vans available on the EU market from 2035 must be zero-emission. The rules also state that there should be a 55 per cent cut in CO2 emissions for new cars sold from 2030 versus 2021 levels. While this will accelerate the transition towards electrification in the transport system in Europe, it also poses several critical questions for the automotive, energy, and broader industry ecosystems.
For the 2035 deadline to be viable, Europe’s access to raw materials, vital in producing batteries and semiconductors for vehicles, must be vastly improved, so that supply chain issues do not block rollout. Investments in charging networks across Europe must be ramped up to ensure adequate capacity. At the same time, the availability of reliable energy sources is a prerequisite to ensuring that electrification, including the building of new battery cell factories and other energy-intensive industries in Europe, are viable. The discussion around the contribution that synthetic fuels can make will be vital in the coming years. Significant focus also remains on improving the affordability of EVs and on driving down the carbon footprint of EV production.