Stellantis CEO: E-Fuels The Way Forward For Existing ICE Cars

Carlos Tavares has voiced support for synthetic fuels as an affordable alternative to new electric vehicles
Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO
Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO

Can synthetic fuels ever be a viable replacement for fossil fuels? One man who thinks they can is Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis. Amid myriad unanswered questions over whether e-fuels can ever be truly neutral and affordable, Tavares has criticised the European Union’s current approach to the zero-emission vehicle transition.

Specifically, his views hinge on the fact that the vast majority of new electric cars are priced inaccessibly for a great many buyers.

Tavares’ comments came at – somewhat ironically – Sunday’s Formula E race at Misano, Italy, where two Stellantis brands, DS and Maserati, were fielding entries. As reported by Motor1, he voiced his support for e-fuels during a press conference at the circuit.

“How many cars, internal combustion vehicles, are on the road right now on the planet? The answer is 1.3 billion,” said Tavares. “And here we are discussing selling… electric cars at a high price out of a total market of 85 million cars a year.

Maserati GranTurismo Folgore EV
Maserati GranTurismo Folgore EV

“E-fuels are a good solution for the 1.3 billion ICE vehicles on the road, but for this to work, it has to be, if not zero-emission, very close… and at a price people can pay.

“We support the development of environmentally friendly fuels and have already publicly announced that all our ICE engines are compatible with [them].

To further illustrate his point, he referenced the workers on the vineyard he owns in the Douro Valley in Portugal, many of whom rely on second-hand pickup trucks for their jobs. “How can I tell them to abandon their 14-year-old Nissan pickups and buy a nice Ram or something for €75,000?” he asked.

Ram 1500 REV
Ram 1500 REV

While Stellantis is pushing forward with EV development, Tavares’ comments echo those of a number of leading car industry figures who have been vocal in pushing for a multi-faceted approach to reducing automotive emissions. Most recently, Renault CEO Luca de Meo encouraged political leaders to further explore e-fuels, as well as to generally offer greater support to the continent’s car industry.

The EU’s current leadership, meanwhile, has promised to further evaluate e-fuels should it be re-elected to the European Parliament in June, ahead of its planned 2035 ban on internal combustion.


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