This was announced by Volkswagen CFO Arno Antlitz to the agency Reutersthat the task of completely ending the production of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars is of course difficult, but it will be much more difficult for automakers to build up production of traction batteries for electric vehicles in sufficient quantities.
The top executive of the German auto giant raised the issue as EU countries decided to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035. The corresponding draft law was presented last summer and the new agreement indicates that the initiative will be given the status of European law in the foreseeable future. Volkswagen said it would stop selling ICE cars by the deadline, but noted some lagging automakers like Toyota might find it difficult to meet that goal.
Nowadays, car manufacturers are striving to ensure sufficient production of traction batteries, but sourcing sufficient raw materials can become a serious problem. What can slow the transition to electric vehicles is the inability of car brands to ensure adequate supplies of lithium, nickel, manganese or cobalt – any shortage can affect the price of cars and threaten automakers’ profits. Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, recently said that this aspect could hit the global auto industry as early as 2024-2025.
Discussion on the initiative to ban new ICE cars in Luxembourg lasted 16 hours and a number of countries including Italy and Slovakia initially proposed a deadline of 2040, but as a result of the negotiations a final decision was made, the sale to discontinue ICE cars by 2035. Exceptions are not reported in the final document.