The powerful German auto industry association has urged the EU and Britain to postpone post-Brexit rules it says will hinder the transition to electric vehicles.
The German claim coincides with requests from UK-based carmakers to the same effect.
Under the trade agreement when the UK left the EU, 45% of the value of electric vehicles sold in the EU must come from the UK or EU from 2024 to avoid tariffs.
The problem is that battery packs can account for up to half the cost of a new electric vehicle and Europe has not yet developed a substantial battery industry of its own and is unlikely to do so until the end of 2023, the VDA association said. This is a statement.
Tariffs on British exports and imports would put “the European car industry at a significant competitive disadvantage to its Asian competitors in the vital UK market”.
They would also represent a “threat to the development of electromobility” as they would damage the entire EU supply chain, including battery manufacturers, further delaying Europe as a place of production.
“It will slow down change,” claimed the lobby group.
Earlier this week, carmaker Stellantis warned British factories would close and thousands of jobs would be lost if the problem was not resolved.
Britain said it was in talks with Brussels.