The man has a point.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has a tendency to say things much of the media, both automotive and mainstream, really don’t like. That was true yet again as Tavares spoke during the recent Freedom of Mobility Forum, where he yet again cast doubt on the viability of the industry-wide push toward electrification.
Learn why Ram’s electric truck commercial is actually pretty cynical here.
“The affordability is not there because the raw materials are scarce and very expensive, and I would add very volatile,” Tavares shot off, angering diehard EV enthusiasts. Then he went on to highlight the scarcity of lithium, as well as other minerals needed to build electric cars for everyone, saying the pursuit “may create other geopolitical issues.”
Tavares is, of course, right. For years, we in the auto industry and increasingly consumers have been told making plenty of EVs would be easy since they’re such simple machines. We were also told repeatedly that getting off oil would cease so many wars, as if war was created after oil became important globally. Instead, the scarcity of materials needed to build batteries could put us in an even worse position.
Despite his criticism of the EV push, Tavares did reassure attendees at the Freedom of Mobility Forum his company would meet the 2030 goal it has set for electrification, which entails all of its European vehicles to be all-electric along with half of those in the US. After all, the man has shareholders to answer to. Still, he opined how “not having technology-neutral regulations” is killing off creativity and scientific discovery, hurting the potential for innovation through competition. We have to agree: government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers on the field but merely should be enforcing rules equally.
Those who didn’t like what Tavares said made sure to only highlight how Stellantis makes Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks. They fail to mention the company also encompasses Fiat, Citroen, Lancia, Peugeot, and other brands known for smaller and more eco-friendly products. After all, that wouldn’t play to their goal of portraying the CEO as someone who only likes hulking vehicles that guzzle gas.
Source: The Detroit News
Images via Stellantis