Categories: News

Why is Italy up against the Euro 7 standard?

It is a war which seems declared between Italy and the EU concerning the ban on sales of new cars in Europe in 2035. The nationalist government of Giorgia Meloni leads a real rebellion against this measure.

The nationalist government of Giorgia Meloni, after an unsuccessful battle against the cessation of sales of new vehicles equipped with a heat engine in new cars from 2035, is now leading a rebellion in Europe against the tightening of standards proposed by Brussels.

“Italy is showing the way, our positions are more and more widely shared”said Monday the Minister of Business, Adolfo Urso, a fervent defender of national industry in the face of a “ideological vision” of climate change.

He was thus referring to the coalition of eight European countries, including Italy and France, which oppose the future Euro 7 standard, aimed at strengthening vehicle emissions testing and which should come into force from of 2025.

A slingshot led to preserve its industry?

The EU proposal is described by Transport Minister Matteo Salvini as “Clearly wrong and even useless from an environmental point of view”. He calls for a “blocking majority” to slow down this project deemed too expensive by the automotive industry.

As head of the League, Matteo Salvini had already led the charge against the ban on heat engines in 2035, calling the measure a “madness” Who “would destroy thousands of Italian jobs” for the benefit of China, ahead in the field of electric vehicles.

Following Germany’s threat to block this measure at the last minute, Brussels paved the way for synthetic fuels claimed by Berlin in Marchbut did not give in to Rome’s request to allow biofuels to extend the life of thermal engines.

According to experts, the technology of synthetic fuels, controversial and still in development, does not concern than a minority of luxury vehiclessuch as those of Ferrari, which welcomed the concession made by Brussels.

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Italy lagging far behind on several levels

In Italy, “Environmental and climate issues are always relegated to the background” under the pressure of a “powerful industrial lobby” in the automotive and energy sectors, deplores Federico Spadini, head of Greenpeace Italy.

“None of the governments of recent years has risen to the environmental challenges. Unfortunately, Italy has not made itself known in Europe as a climate champion”, he comments to AFP. According to him, “it is certain that with the Meloni government, the situation has deteriorated”.

Italy is at the back of the pack in Europe, with a 26.9% drop in electric vehicle sales in 2022 and a market share that has only reached 3.7%compared to an EU average of 12.1%.

“There is no enthusiasm for electric cars in Italy. The supply is limited, with only one model manufactured by the national manufacturer Fiat”, notes Felipe Munoz, an analyst at Jato Dynamics. Moreover, “Purchasing power is not very high, people cannot afford expensive electric cars. Therefore, the demand is low, unlike the Nordic countries”he told AFP.

This view is shared by the CEO of Italian truck manufacturer Iveco, Gerrit Marx. “We risk becoming a big Cuba, with very old cars that will continue to be used for many years, because part of the population will not be able to afford an electric model”he fears.

In 2022, Italy had nearly 270,000 direct or indirect employees in the automotive sector, which accounts for 5.2% of GDP. The transition to all-electric could lead to the loss of more than 60,000 jobs in Italy by 2035 for automotive suppliers aloneaccording to their European association (Clepa).

“We have a considerable delay, in Italy there are barely 36,000 electric charging stations, compared to 90,000 in Little Holland”also admits Minister Adolfo Urso.

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