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GEF 2021: the transition of the CEE automotive sector to e-mobility brings opportunities

The Central and Eastern European region’s automotive sector became one of the highlights at the international online conference Global E-mobility Forum (GEF) which was organised by the National Centre for Climate Change in Poland. The event brought together field experts from Europe and around the world.   

According to Pavel Štefek, the CEE Automotive Sector ESG Leader at PwC Czech Republic, the transformation of the region’s automotive sector to e-mobility is bringing new opportunities to Central and Eastern Europe which has its own manufacturing capacity but to meet the demands of the digitalised and automated future in which “the software is defining the hardware”, the talent training and reskilling is necessary.

Jaap Burger, the Senior Advisor at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) emphasised that the automotive sector needs “to make sure that renewable energy is linked in a smart way to electric vehicles” and added that the key challenge in Europe and specifically, in CEE region lies in ensuring “what can be done ahead of the S curve in terms of the education, new services and especially, cooperation between different industries and sectors. We need the automotive industry and the energy industry to work together”.

Global E-mobility Forum (GEF).

The CEE region has the potential to become a hub for the battery industry too, the key sub-sector for electric mobility. However, for Mr Burger, Europe’s and the region’s transition towards a renewable energy system also means looking at the lifecycle of components for electric mobility.

“It’s really important to ensure that we produce batteries with renewable energy as much as possible, so this is also something that European countries and CEE more specifically need to drive forward to ensure that in the production climate neutrality can be achieved”.

To this end, close cooperation of public and private sectors, academia and the swift implementation of the European market regulations are necessary.

According to Mr Burger “Approaching the end of the life-cycle of the vehicles, there is the other element. What should we do with these batteries, give them a second life? That’s again how to integrate them in the energy system to build up battery storage which can be integrated into the electricity which then can be integrated into buildings and obviously there’s the recycling component to that as well. So how can we recover materials from the batteries and ensure that they can be reused again? I guess, the key tool for that is ensuring that there is close cooperation between public and private sectors and academia”.

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