The world of components and suppliers also joins the chorus of concerns for employment, linked to the strong push towards all-electric mobility. And now Clepa, the European association that represents this sector (more than 3 thousand companies, including large, medium and small; 5 million workers; 30 billion annual investments in research and development) is raising its voice: there are 500 thousand places which risk jumping in the supply chain for the production of internal combustion engines, the same gradually destined to make way for batteries according to the plans of the EU Commission. Of this half million employed, 359 thousand (70%), Clepa warns, will lose their jobs between 2030 and 2035, the year which marks – again looking at the “Fit for 55” in Brussels – the execution of the death sentence for petrol and diesel fuels.
These data are part of a study commissioned by Clepa to PwC Strategy & consultants. “The survey – said the secretary general of Clepa, Sigrid de Vries – highlights the risks for employment of an exclusively electric approach, which policy should take into account”.
According to the study, the switch to electric could also allow new hires, especially in the software world, in the production and assembly of battery cells, and this would reduce the net loss of jobs to 275,000 between now and 2040. But this presupposes the creation of a European battery industry that is competitive against Asian champions; furthermore, the new activities will not necessarily be located in the same regions or in the same companies. It should also not be forgotten that battery manufacturing provides relatively more jobs for academically trained workers and fewer for mechanical workers who are currently employed in the production of internal combustion engine related parts. A possible solution? Integrate electrification, thanks to a technological contribution that allows the use of renewable fuels. In this way, Clepa emphasizes, “we would have a CO2 reduction of 50% by 2030, keeping jobs and also creating added value. Furthermore, a regulatory framework open to all existing solutions, including hybrid technologies and green hydrogen, will give space to innovation while redefining future mobility ».
«The components supply chain – comments Marco Stella, president of the Anfia Components Group, of which he is vice president – has a significant economic and employment weight in Italy. Its products are exported and appreciated all over the world with a positive trade balance of around 5.5 billion a year. Supporting component manufacturers in Italy in addressing the transition to zero-emission mobility also means understanding the current difficulties of around 30% of them, still focused on internal combustion engine technologies and, in general, SMEs, the majority of the sector, in taking on large investments within a few years “.