Audi CEO Markus Duesmann said the mid-2025 deadline for the implementation of Euro 7 regulations on pollution should be delayed as it doesn’t give automakers enough time to prepare.
The Euro 7 standard, which regulates exhaust emissions of pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, as well as fine particles, received preliminary approval in November last year. It also proposes for the first time to regulate particulate emissions from brake pads and tires.
Automakers will have to re-certify every transmission in their portfolio, a lengthy and costly process. New technologies, upgraded filters and catalysts will need to be created, and automakers say they will have to pass on much of that cost to buyers.
Many see Euro 7 as an unnecessary milestone that will divert resources from the ultimate goal of electrification. Company executives say the rules will only apply to the latest generation of internal combustion engines until a proposal to allow only zero-emission vehicles to be sold in Europe after 2035.
Skoda head of sales Martin Jahn said on Sunday that the Czech brand Volkswagen Group will have to close the plant and phase out models if the Euro 7 standard is adopted in its current form.
“If the Euro 7 standard is approved in this form, it will mean that Skoda Auto will close one plant, because we will stop producing smaller models – Fabia, Scala, Kamiq – this means at least 3,000 jobs will be reduced,” said Martin Yang in a televised debate.
“We strongly believe that we need to adjust the current proposal,” added Markus Duesmann. “We spent a lot of time and money developing electric vehicles.”
Strict adherence to Euro 7 would divert investment away from electric vehicles, he said, and higher prices for buyers would “really weaken the situation.”
Mercedes-Benz plans to diversify its electric strategy: hybrids and electric vehicles will account for only half of sales until 2030
Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker to scale back its electric vehicle ambitions. In 2021, the company published an electrification plan that would see it sell only battery-electric vehicles from 2030, at least in countries with suitable infrastructure. On February 22, Mercedes presented its annual results for 2023, from which it became clear that the company doubts that markets will be ready to accept only electric vehicles by that date.
Mercedes isn’t abandoning electric vehicles, but now says it expects electrified vehicles, including hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, to account for half of all sales in the second half of this decade. The company said it is taking the necessary steps to transition to an all-electric model, but also aims to meet different customer needs by offering options with an all-electric powertrain or electrified internal combustion engines until at least the 2030s.
This change has long been discussed in Mercedes conference rooms. CEO Ola Källenius warned in September 2022 that even Europe would not be ready for an all-electric lineup by 2030.
For electric vehicle fans, this is yet another example of corporate response to declining consumer demand. It is believed that electric vehicles have become one of the new technologies that go through a cycle of hype, first generating high expectations and then disappointment.
Global electric vehicle sales grew 31% in 2023, but that’s half the growth rate achieved in 2022. In the US, automakers such as Ford and General Motors have already admitted that their electric vehicle plans were too ambitious or did not target the right market segments, such as full-size pickup trucks. Even startups like Rivian and Lucid are projecting significant production cuts in 2024.
Car dealers who are skeptical of electric vehicles could be blamed for this. They, receiving record profits, complain that they have to master new technology. But one of the reasons many consumers don’t feel confident buying electric vehicles is discomfort. An electric vehicle owner who can charge at home knows that he will wake up every morning with a fully charged battery, but this contrasts with the need for weekly or more frequent visits to gas stations. In addition, drivers are accustomed to fast refueling, which is problematic for electric vehicles even with fast charging.
Electric vehicles also remain more expensive compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. This is due to the high cost of lithium-ion batteries. Once the price of batteries drops below $100 per kWh, the cost of electric vehicles could become comparable to the price of cars with internal combustion engines.
Battery prices are gradually falling, but not fast enough. In November, BloombergNEF published a study that showed battery prices fell 14% year-on-year, but at more than $130 per kWh, it’s clear why electric vehicles still cost thousands of dollars more than their gas-powered counterparts.
Instead, we can expect more adoption of hybrid electric vehicles and PHEVs (plug-in hybrids). Hybrid vehicles provide a cost-effective alternative to simply burning liquid hydrocarbons and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The updated Audi Q2 has been presented. This premium crossover costs the same as a base Volkswagen Golf
Audi presented the updated Audi Q2 crossover in Europe and announced the cost of the basic version – 27.8 thousand euros. That is, this premium crossover is at the level of the basic Volkswagen Golf MK8.5.
The design of the Audi Q2 has not changed, the engines are the same (petrol turbocharged 1.0, 1.4 and 2.0 liters and turbodiesels 1.5 and 2.0 liters), but there are changes in the interior. Now the basic equipment of the Audi Q2 includes a digital instrument panel with a 12.3-inch diagonal screen and a media system with an 8.8-inch diagonal screen. There are more driver assistance systems, the steering wheel has been modified, the central tunnel has been modified – the proprietary media system controller was removed from it.
The Audi Q2 shares its platform with the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Ateca, Jetta VS5 and Skoda Karoq. The basic drive is front-wheel drive, for an additional fee – all-wheel drive. The dimensions of the car are 4191 x 1794 x 1508 mm, the wheelbase is 2601 mm.
Jetour X90 Pro presented – a large and powerful crossover priced from $18,000
Jetour, a Chinese automaker that is part of the Chery brand, has introduced the Pro version of its X90 SUV with an internal combustion engine. This version is an updated version of the X90 Plus edition.
The appearance remained almost identical. The interior is more reminiscent of the Jetour L9. The Jetour X90 Pro crossover is already available for pre-order, and its official launch is scheduled for March.
During the pre-order period, Jetour offers various discounts, an extended vehicle warranty for the first owner and 5 years of free internet (6 GB per month). Jetour X90 Pro costs between $18,000 and $24,000.
The Jetour X90 Pro comes with split headlights and integrated LED strips. The side and rear profiles remain the same as the L9. The 390TGDI badge appeared at the rear, indicating that it was running on fuel. With dimensions of 4858 x 1925 x 1780 mm, the car offers a fairly large interior and a wheelbase of 2850 mm.
Inside there is a 15.6-inch frameless touch display. The interior is made of premium materials and has a transparent gear shift lever. The interior features matte wood accents and piano lacquer trim. The X90 PRO is available in both 5-seat and 7-seat configurations, with the 5-seat variant offering a generous 1,634 liters of cargo space.
Jetour X90 Pro offers two engine options. The first is a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that produces a maximum power of 197 horsepower and a peak torque of 290 Nm. The second option is a 2.0-liter TGDI engine with 254 horsepower and 390 Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
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