Prospects and contradictions of the electrification of the European automotive industry: The role of European Union policy

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 21, Number 3, p.162-179 (2021)



Automotive engineering, CO2 emissions, Electric utilities, Environmental benefits, European Union policy, management, Regulatory frameworks, Transport sectors


The article analyses the role that the EU regulatory framework for the reduction of CO2 emissions in the transport sector has played during the last twenty years in moving the industry away from what it was supposed to do: reduce weight, mass and size of the cars sold to make them less polluting. It shows that the current race towards electrification can be seen as the result of this paradox. It argues that under the ongoing upmarket drift in new car sales the social, economic and political costs of electrification increase, while its environmental benefits decrease.

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