Electrification may be a “real threat” to affordable cars, according to Citroën

Arnaud Deboeuf, manufacturing director of Stellantis, has been very harsh in his recent explanations about the electrification of the fleet. Historically, the automotive group has not been particularly optimistic about the shift towards a fully electric industry: the notable mentions of Carlos Tavares himself, CEO of Stellantis, give good credit for this. However, now it has been another manager and person of influence within the group who has warned of the problems that can derive from the high cost that the electric cars for the citizen.

It was during the recent launch of the new Citroën ë-C4X that the manager pointed out the importance of reduce the manufacturing costs of electric vehicles so that they can be offered at a more attractive and affordable price for the general public. Arnaud pointed to the threat posed by the high prices of today’s electric cars, as people cannot afford to buy them.

“If automakers can’t drive down the cost of electric vehicles, the market will crash,” he said. This represents a huge challenge for the entire industry because, as the years have passed, most generic manufacturers have geared their production lines towards new solutions that guarantee said reduction in the final cost per vehicle. Nevertheless, these efforts are being counterattacked by a relentless rise in the purchase prices of raw materials and, consequently, of components as essential as the batteries themselves.

From the European Union they have already given their approval for the total elimination of the sale of thermal cars in the region by the year 2035; This news is very relevant for sustainability and the environment, although, according to Arnaud, it could lead to big problems for the car industry if car prices cannot go down. Stellantis today has the objective of reducing the cost of manufacturing its electrics by 40% by the year 2030by embracing the in-house manufacturing of parts and components, as well as pressuring their suppliers to lower prices.

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, already warned of this inconvenience
Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, already warned of this inconvenience

Just a few days ago, the Citroën ë-C4X was unveiled, a fully versatile electric model and one of the access vehicles to the French firm’s “zero emissions” range. At the moment the starting price of the vehicle is not known, although estimates speak of an invoice of more than 35,750 euros that it costs today to get hold of a compact Citroën ë-C4 in Spain. A price much higher than what a large part of the general public will be able to pay for a vehicle, something that completely bothers Stellantis, since, throughout this decade they plan to launch a total of 75 new electrified models and transform its manufacturing plants.

From the automobile group they know how much is at stake in this regard and it is that, if the public cannot access a range of entry-level electric vehicles, they fear that it will finally opt for the acquisition of a second-hand thermal car, detonating in a problem for manufacturers.

It has already been seen how various brands have had to raise the prices of their cars considerably by presenting higher manufacturing costs. Such is the case of Tesla, among others, who they have had to raise prices up to 6,000 euros for some of their models. However, many investors and experts in the field are very optimistic about the cost of manufacturing and selling electric cars and estimate that from the middle of this decade these could fall to similar levels as thermal vehicles.

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