Europe’s current emissions standards have already proven difficult for legacy automakers as evidenced by Honda joining Tesla and Fiat Chrysler’s pool deal recently. But if the EU Commission does decide to push through with its hyper-strict recommended Euro 7 standards, traditional automakers may find it even more difficult to stay competitive in the face of EV manufacturers like Tesla or legacy OEMs who have a leg-up in electric car production and development, like Volkswagen.
All of Tesla’s vehicles are tailor-fit for the strict Euro 7 standards, thanks to its S3XY line, all of which are battery-electric. Tesla recently started exporting Giga Shanghai’s Model 3 vehicle to Europe, thereby increasing its delivery capacity. Gigafactory Berlin seems to be on schedule to start Model Y production in 2021 as well.
On the other side of the aisle, Volkswagen’s ID.3 seems to be selling well in Europe and the ID.4, a crossover, is poised for a release soon. Volkswagen is also working on the other entries of its ID line, such as the ID.5 sedan and estate, the ID.6 SUV, and the ID.7 van. Other all-electric cars from Volkswagen AG, such as the Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-tron, are also being received quite well in their respective segments.
Other traditional OEMs have announced electric vehicles for the future. For instance, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand has announced the EQV, EQS, EQE, and EQA, expanding its existing EV range. Things will likely not be easy for legacy automakers that are only getting their feet wet with EVs, however, as it isn’t just emissions standards that they have to contend with when it comes to releasing new energy vehicles. With each passing year, competitors like Tesla continue to improve the technologies in its vehicles, which also raises the EV standards for traditional OEMs.
The recommendations from the panel of experts in the EU Commissions’ recent study suggests that new car sales in the region will likely be geared towards electric vehicles in the near future. Even if the recommendations end up getting watered down as they are implemented, the shift to electric cars will definitely be palpable within the coming years. And amidst these changes, companies that have already laid the groundwork for their respective electric car programs will likely come out with an advantage.
Tesla would be wise to take advantage of Europe’s apparent war against the combustion engine. With Gigafactory Berlin poised to come online next year, Tesla would have the opportunity to saturate the market with the Model Y, its highest-volume car vehicle to date. The release of the company’s yet-to-be-announced $25,000 EV would also go a long way towards accelerating the mass adoption of all-electric cars. Tesla has not hinted at a concrete release date for its $25,000 car, but with the EU Commission’s stance, it may be a good idea for the electric car maker to accelerate the upcoming vehicle’s release.
Companies like Volkswagen, for their part, would best be advised to ensure that the rollout of its all-electric cars are done with no more delays. The ID.3 experienced severe problems with its software, resulting in the all-electric car’s rollout being pushed back. Amidst Europe’s push to end the internal combustion engine, Volkswagen must ensure that the succeeding vehicles in the ID family are rolled out in a much smoother manner.