The car lobby warns that the industry is threatened with serious consequences as a result of plans by the EU Commission to tighten the carbon dioxide limit values. A very strict new emission standard Euro 7 would mean the de facto end of the combustion engine, according to the automobile association VDA. Switching to alternative drives such as electric cars too quickly could cost many jobs, according to the manufacturers. However, one expert comes to a different conclusion.
The switch from combustion engines to electric cars is not a job killer, said Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the Duisburg research institute Center Automotive Research (CAR). Based on a study carried out at the CAR Institute, he predicts that the plans of the EU Commission criticized by the manufacturers will have only minor negative consequences for jobs in the automotive industry. “The planned tightening of the CO2 regulation in the EU endangers jobs in the European auto industry less than feared,” said Dudenhöffer. “On the contrary: one can expect positive effects on employment across all economic sectors.”
In the car countries Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Slovakia, according to the analysis, only 1.8 percent of jobs are to be lost due to stricter emissions requirements. That corresponds to almost 15,000 jobs. The effects on employment could largely be offset by new jobs in the field of e-mobility such as battery production and charging infrastructure, according to the study. An earlier switch to electric cars promotes the development of economies of scale and future competitive advantages in the auto industry.
Dudenhöffer warns against paying too much attention to the allegation of impending job losses and thereby postponing the end of internal combustion engines such as diesel and gasoline. “In my opinion, it makes sense not to adopt a softened Euro Standard 7. That was done far too often in the past and has hindered our technical progress and the transformation to the electric car, ”he told Handelsblatt .
With a “slack” Euro standard 7, today’s combustion engines would be sold for a very long time. “If we take climate protection and emissions protection in our cities seriously, we mustn’t close our eyes in the transport sector,” warned the scientist. The conclusion of his study: “It has already been shown in the past that stricter CO2 requirements in the German automotive industry have created jobs and not destroyed them.”
The CAR boss advocates relying on the new potential and thus jobs, for example in the production of battery cells. If these opportunity costs were taken into account, there would be a positive job effect due to the stricter EU emission regulations.