FRANKFURT — Europe's automakers arrived at the Frankfurt auto show armed with a raft of new electric vehicles and a message to deliver to policymakers: These cars will not solve the climate crisis alone.
Authorized to speak on behalf of his colleagues and competitors, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares told reporters the industry should no longer be criticized for inaction now that consumers will be able to find a zero-emission model in showrooms that suits their needs.
The diminutive Opel Corsa-e and the sleek Porsche Taycan celebrated their public debut at the show, while Volkswagen added the cherry on top with its vaunted ID3, the first in a family of affordable, mass-market EVs that are designed to be sold in the millions.
But auto manufacturers used the show to make clear that product availability is only one factor, and customers must now complete the environmental equation by switching to the new technology.
"Having electric vehicles in the dealerships is not going to be enough," Tavares warned, calling on a coordinated societywide approach that includes a major ramp-up of charging infrastructure and meaningful financial incentives. "Freedom of mobility is something fundamental to our democracy," he said.
Thus far, the industry has had trouble moving the needle of change.