According to Philippe Varin, ex-CEO of PSA, an electric car must travel 200,000 kilometers to compensate for its carbon deficit compared to a thermal one.
This is a new soty that will not please the defenders of the electric car. According to Philippe Varin, ex-president of PSA, “an electric car must drive 200,000 kilometers. to compensate for its carbon deficit from well to wheel, its increased CO2 emissions compared to a thermal car. »
The former president of France Industrie relies on the impact of the production of the necessary materials to the manufacture of electric cars. “two-thirds of large battery factories will still be located in China in 2030” he continues to Challenges.
Gold, “If we import nickel from Indonesia, we emit a lot of CO2 because the treatment is done with coal energy” continues the author of a report on securing supplies. “There is therefore a very important question of the carbon content of supplies. »
China dominates the rare earth market
The figure put forward by Philippe Varin remains disputed, however. The manufacturer Polestar (Volvo) believes that 80,000 kilometers is enough on average in Europe. Nevertheless the carbon footprint of an electric car is still subject to debate.
All the more so in the current European context, the ban on heat engines for advancing cars and light commercial vehicles. The European Union wants become carbon neutral by 2050. Which is likely to be difficult, China exercising a quasi-monopoly on the refining of rare earths.
” China controls 60% of rare earths and refines 80%” ensures Challenges Guillaume Pitron, journalist specializing in rare metals. “The ecological costs of rare metal mining in China are colossal. There is in all 10,000 mines in China, totally irresponsible ecologically. »
However, Europe also has its deposits. Lithium is especially present in Spain, Portugal, France, Austria and Finland. In Alsace, a project to extract this material is under study.
Neighboring Germany is more advanced on the subject. Builders like Renault, Volkswagen or Peugeot-Citroën already have contracts with a German multinational. The latter intends to exploit the subsoil of the country. Renault hopes to be able to replace a good part of its purchases of this material in China by 2026.
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