“Do the same in Europe”, the European Wildlife conservation organization stated in its call to Renault

2020 - 04 - 16
“Do the same in Europe”, the European Wildlife conservation organization stated in its call to Renault

Renault is ending the production of motor vehicles with combustion engines in China. This week, the company announced that it will continue making only electric vehicles on the Chinese market. For this reason, the European Wildlife conservation organization called on the automaker to take the same step on the domestic European market.

“Currently, tens of thousands of people are dying of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, partially due to the smog to which combustion engines contribute. It is precisely for this reason that Europe needs similarly bold action from carmakers, just like Renault in China. Carmakers in Europe are also lagging behind because Covid-19 has substantially worse consequences in European countries than it had in China,” said Director Dalibor Dostal of European Wildlife.

While 3,342 people died of the coronavirus in China, 70,635 people have died in only five of the worst afflicted countries of the European Union. Apart from the response speed and stringency of the implemented measures, one of the major differences is pressure on the sale of zero-emission vehicles. According to the E-Mobility Sales Review study by PwC, 825,527 electric vehicles were sold in China in 2019, while only 286,330 electric vehicles were sold in the five largest EU countries, plus Norway and the Netherlands.

“Although EV sales in the EU5+2 rose by 76.4% as compared to 2018, the reason for this pronounced increase is the low comparative base in 2018. Moreover, the statistics are substantially improved by Norway, which is not a EU Member State. For the European Union to better cope with the next pandemic, it is necessary to devote considerably greater efforts to the reduction of air pollution, including support for electric vehicles and a reduction in the number of vehicles with combustion engines.

The Norwegian model could be an example for the EU,” added Dostal. Air-pollution annually kills more than 600,000 people in Europe. Motor vehicles with combustion engines are a major contributor to smog in Europe, specifically dangerous nitrogen oxide (Nox); for example, it accounts for 61.04% in France. These motor vehicles also account for a large share of total air pollution in Italy with 48.88%, Austria with 48.95% and Belgium with 47.72%.

In 2019, the share of EVs in Norway was 42% of total motor vehicle sales, while this figure was about 31% in 2018. The launch of sales of the Tesla model 3 contributed to the higher share of electric vehicles in Norway. Norway plans to stop selling motor vehicles with combustion engines completely in 2025.

Photo: Pixabay

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