The head of the French car group Renault, Luca de Meo, gives consumers no hope of rapid price reductions for electric cars. "In the current situation, it is very difficult for us to reduce costs," said the manager in an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG.
The batteries are expensive, and 80 percent of their cost depends on scarce raw materials, which are becoming more expensive. The prices for the vehicles would tend to rise and only fall when the investments in the new products amortized, said de Meo. "The transition to electromobility must be made possible by people who have money, own a garage and can afford the cars."
De Meo criticized the phase-out of the combustion engine planned in the EU as too quick and too one-dimensional. "The European approach is not particularly logical because it only measures CO2 emissions from tank to wheel," he said. The correct way would be to include all emissions from mining through production and the use phase of the vehicle to recycling.
"It's a complex calculation, but if you find a method for it, you'll see that some combustion engine technologies are still competitive with electric cars," said the manager. By 2030, Renault is set to become a pure electric car supplier in Europe. The subsidiary brand Dacia will not be converted so quickly.
For the Renault group, the manager announced a profound restructuring. “We separate the combustion engines. Our mobility brand Mobilize, the recycling business, the sports car brand Alpine will also become independent entities,” he said. Investors could then enter parts of the business in a targeted manner.
In its core business, Renault is building a new type of company based on the combination of electromobility and software. "It's meant to compete with the new automakers, be more tech-centric, and be more than 30 percent engineers," de Meo said. Normally automakers would have five to six percent engineers.