Federico Neri Finelli: electric cars, really “green” only under certain conditions

“From an industrial point of view, there is also a risk of losing the Italian leadership in mechanical technology”.

Catania, June 21, 2022. With the return of eco-bonuses, the much-needed incentives to scrap for the purchase of new vehicles have been restarted. Expected for several months, as a basic measure of the economic recovery of the car market, government subsidies are mainly focused on the electrification of the car fleet in circulation.

“As a citizen, I can only rejoice that more electric cars are circulating, they are more comfortable than those with a thermal engine and are technologically advanced, but this technology is far from sustainable.” This is one of the views of Federico Neri Finelli, born in 1977, Vice President of the European Association of Peugeot Dealers. After being the CEO in mid-2012 of the historic Catania company Cisauto spa – concessionaire since 1975 – he made the lion’s brand the first foreign brand in the local market.

“A technology that is considered ‘green’, that of electric vehicles,” Finelli continues, “but which is only partially so because the whole production process must be taken into account and not just the emissions in motion, and in any case the production of In fact, a lot of electricity still comes from burning coal – this is especially the case in Germany, and the metals that are crucial for the production of electric cars are as rare as, if not more so than, fossil fuels. “Their extraction is expensive and totally organic”.

With his privileged eye as an expert in the sector, Federico Neri Finelli also points the finger at the implications of the shift in global equilibrium, given by the production of electric motor vehicles instead of heat motors. “On 8 June 2022, the European Parliament voted to ban the sale of incinerators from the year 2035. As in this case, the European legislator dictates the guidelines involving 400 million citizens and, in terms of Italy’s role, its industrial and commercial structure in jeopardy.Our country has a great tradition in cars, with a galaxy of companies employed in the sector – in addition to the major manufacturers – which constitute a very dense substance.We sacrifice our advantageous position, especially from a technological point of view. Electric cars, with the exception of the battery compartment, are much simpler to manufacture, and Italy – with its car history, its skills, its inventive and productive capabilities, its know-how – is losing relevance in the market, but it is all of Europe that risks a continental self-goal. must be careful: we are sacrificing an entire sector – we will not be able to compete adequately with countries like China with high availability of raw materials that we we l be dependent on in the future, and which has an advantage in the mass production of electricity. cars – for a technology, battery-powered cars that will not be able to reach everywhere in the market: the costs are high and not all private mobility needs are covered. In short, by having a few more electric cars in the city center, Europe is putting the entire industrial structure of the continent at stake. Moreover, in the function of a technology that will be on a large scale, but which will not completely replace the internal combustion engine, and which sooner or later will again be replaced by a more ecological and efficient system: batteries are heavy, inefficient as charging capacity, they are not for all purposes, they require capillary infrastructures that are still far from existing and there is currently no production of electricity sufficient to support global mobility. That with electric vehicles is a piece, probably only temporarily, but it is not a technology that will solve our problems, just as it will not solve the planet’s.

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