Car: why are some car manufacturers slowing down on electric?

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Sales of electric cars are increasing, but not as quickly as expected by some manufacturers who are forced to adapt their strategy accordingly. Will we be able to ban the sale of new thermal cars in 2035 in Europe?

17% of new cars sold in France in 2023 had 100% electric mechanics. In Europe, this figure was 14.6%.

Zero-emission cars are increasingly appealing to motorists in the Old Continent (and those in China and the United States), but customers continue to favor thermal cars.

However, some car manufacturers had precisely bet on massive customer adoption for their electric cars and therefore found themselves with models that did not sell as well as expected.

Manufacturers react accordingly

And they react accordingly: in the United States, Ford has just modified its strategy for the years to come, while declaring abysmal losses on the sale of electric cars alone (4.7 billion dollars in 2023 alone).

In Europe, the Volkswagen group had to reduce the production of its main electric models (Volkswagen ID.3, ID.4, Cupra Born, Audi Q4 e-tron, etc.) while lowering their prices.

And at Stellantis too, the Fiat 500e had to shut down its factory in Italy several times to adapt to demand.

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German brands slow down

German premium brands, which were thinking big about electrics a few years ago, are also adapting. While Audi planned to no longer develop new thermal cars after the year 2026, the brand with the rings finally decided to continue to design new generations of cars equipped with a petroleum engine, well after the middle of the year. current decade.

At Mercedes, initial plans called for being able to sell 100% electric cars in Europe by 2030. Here too, these plans have just been canceled since the manufacturer is now counting on 50% electrified cars in specific markets such as Europe in 2030.

Which means that if the market evolves as Mercedes predicts, it will sell less than 50% electric cars by the end of the decade (and perhaps even much less than 50% since sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles are also counted in that half).

At Porsche, while we were counting on 80% of global electric sales by 2030, managers are questioning themselves on a possible decline.

Mercedes EQE SUV (©Mercedes)

What will we do in 2035?

Remember that the European Union plans to ban the sale of new thermal cars from 2035. Given the speed of progression of electric cars currently in Europe, the hypothesis of having to postpone this date no longer seems totally impossible.

Certainly, the face of the European automobile market could quickly change in a few years with the arrival of new, less expensive electric cars such as the Renault 5, the Citroën ë-C3, the Fiat Panda or the Volkswagen ID.2. But for now, car manufacturers seem to be moving a little blindly and no one is able to predict precisely how customers will behave.

Ford Mustang Mach E
Ford Mustang Mach E (©Ford)


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