stellantis: India needs holistic strategy to meet end goal of combating global warming: Stellantis CEO

With electric mobility gaining traction across the world, big countries like India need a holistic strategy to be successful in meeting the end goal of combating global warming, instead of just putting “regulations and norms on the back of carmakers”, according to global automotive major Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.

Various aspects, including clean energy, charging infrastructure, battery supply, mobility devices and tax revenues, need to be strategically considered to drive the strategy, he said here while addressing media in a virtual conference.

“This is a mobility strategy that each big country like India needs to have, a strategy (of) not only imposing regulations and norms on the back of the carmakers, that’s easy. Everybody has done that,” Tavares said.

Further, he said, “What is difficult is to think strategically about a 360-degree approach on energy, on infrastructure, on battery supply, on mobility devices, and even on tax revenues”.

He was responding to a query on what support the company expected from the government for accelerating the adoption of electric mobility.

Elaborating his point, he said in most countries, the automobile sector is a big tax provider and most of those taxes are on petrol (internal combustion engine vehicles).

“So, the day you have less petrol and more electricity (electric vehicles), you have much less tax revenues and you have a problem with the state budget for that matter,” Tavares said.

Addressing this issue in a strategic matter, he said, “…looking at the 360-degree approach and not only about the mobility device, because the mobility device, if you just impose regulations on cars, it’s the cheap version of the strategy”.

Asserting that such a strategy would be totally ‘incomplete and limited’, Tavares said even if manufacturers bring EVs they would not be affordable and consumers won’t be able to buy them.

Reiterating the need to have “clean energy”, he said, “That’s the number one driver of everything. Whatever you do in the mobility world or many other things, if you don’t have clean energy, it’s always going to be a challenge, including the overall efficiency of EVs”.

Tavares further said, “If we want to bring zero-emission mobility devices, that’s not going to be the major problem but if we want to be very effective in addressing the global warming issue, make sure that the full lifecycle analysis is clean, which means we need to take care not only about the mobility device but also about the energy, we need to charge electric vehicles with clean energy”.

The issue of clean energy, he said, is “possibly the biggest challenge” in the world at present although the OEMs have done their fair share.

Tavares also highlighted the need for having a convenient EV charging infrastructure for customers, a robust power supply network to support fast charging and the localisation of batteries.

Besides, India also needs to have the ability not only to mine raw materials like lithium and nickel but also to process them to value add in order to have a holistic approach towards electric mobility, he said.

“So, at the end of the day, this has to be a comprehensive approach, and anything that the Indian government would like to discuss with us or learn from us, we are here to help and we are here to stay and we are here to support,” Tavares said.