Luca de Meo (Renault) - "Separate companies for electrical and endothermic: we will get there within two years"

The green deal? It is a good thing for Europe: you said so Luca de Meo in a chat with the Italian press on the sidelines of a meeting with the representatives of over two hundred suppliers of the Italian supply chain, to whom the group’s CEO Renault launched the challenge: to seize the wind of transformations, from the electrical transition to digitalization and connectivity and to undertake a common path, with the aim of increasing the relevance of supplies from the Peninsula, today in twelfth place in the ranking of the supplier countries of the Lozenge, for a value of approximately one billion euros.

Elettriche, Europe becomes a leader. According to the number one of the transalpine group, the green turning point represents an opportunity for European industry, but it is not without its unknowns and risks: “If Europe manages to gain a leadership position in the entire development chain and production of electric cars, that is, if it manages to establish itself as the place where this technology becomes the best in the world, we will have hit the target ”, said De Meo, underlining how the electric car is a catalyst of value. “We are talking about about 20 thousand euros per car, this is the added value given by the green turning point, where 4-5 thousand euros are given by the car, about ten thousand come from the upstream process, that is from mineral extraction and refining, chemical batteries, cell construction and battery pack preparation, power management software and so on and, finally, a few thousand downstream, in the recycling and reuse of batteries in their second life. The problem is who will control this value: whether we, or the Asian producers ”.

Reorganization in 2024-25. According to the top manager, a collective effort by the European industrial fabric, car manufacturers and suppliers, is needed to win the challenge of controlling the entire production chain. For this purpose, you know, Renault is contemplating it spin-off the development, design and production of thermal engines to be opened to other partners and investors if necessary, but also of the electrical sector, for the construction of platforms, batteries, engines and powertrain management. De Meo not only confirmed the project, but, in response to a question from Quattroruote, he also gave a time horizon: “For the autumn we think we will be able to define the contours of this project a little better and be able to present it publicly. Then, for the realization, 18-24 months will have to pass ”. The two companies, of course, will also be able to put their products on the free market.

The ban on thermals? Better in 2040. De Meo then reiterated Renault’s commitment on the electric front: “We were among the first to believe in it, at the Alliance level (with Nissan and Mitsubishi, ed), we have already invested ten billion and we will put another 23-25 ​​billion within the next three years “. However, in reference the forthcoming vote of the European Parliament on the ban on thermal engines, invites us to be wary of the “single thought”: “The problem lies in the reference to ‘tank to wheel’ in determining ‘zero emissions’, and this today cuts out any other technology, if not electric and hydrogen. The latter, however, is expensive and requires an infrastructure that is not easy to implement. I believe that the heat engine is not dead, that synthetic fuels can play a role in reducing the CO2 emitted by the fleet. Surely a time horizon of 2040 for the banning of thermal engines would have been more reasonable, because it would have allowed the manufacturers to count on two product life cycles for the thermal cars developed today. An indispensable condition for an adequate return on investment “.

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