The European automotive supply industry, as represented by CLEPA, has underscored its commitment to ever safer, cleaner and smarter mobility with an impressive presence at the IAA international motor show, which took place mid-September in Frankfurt.
More than 40 CLEPA member companies and national associations showcased the latest innovations in their respective fields of expertise. CLEPA itself was present at the event with a booth in the New Mobility World area of the show, marking the milestone that connected and automated mobility has arrived at. The association also took part in various EU policy events.
“Mobility is changing in ways not seen since the transition from horse carriage to self-propelled vehicles,” said Roberto Vavassori, president of CLEPA and a member of the board of management at Brembo, during the CLEPA media roundtable in Frankfurt. “The automotive suppliers drive and facilitate that evolution every step on the way.”
Automotive suppliers play a crucial role inventing, developing and producing today’s new mobility solutions that advance road safety, connected and automated driving, fuel economy and alternative powertrains. CLEPA actively inputs to the societal and regulatory debate on these topics. The automotive sector is one of the most regulated industries, and with urban mobility planning, CO2-reduction legislation, the Vehicle General Safety Regulation and data-driven trends such as truck platooning or highway chauffeur, many new policy initiatives are on the way, according to CLEPA.
“Great parts make great cars, and great policy needs the expert contribution from those providing the mobility solutions,” added Sigrid de Vries, CLEPA secretary general.
An average vehicle counts about 30,000 of these parts and components, ranging from lighting to interiors, body parts, electronics, drivetrain or chassis. About 75 percent of vehicle value is produced by suppliers, who spend more than EUR20 billion (approximately $23 billion USD) on R&D each year. It is crucial that innovation is fostered through a competitive and supportive regulatory framework, CLEPA noted.
Referring to the upcoming proposal for new CO2-reduction limits for light-duty vehicles, CLEPA emphasizes that multiple technologies are needed to ensure that the Paris climate change targets are met, ranging from electrification to advanced internal combustion solutions to renewable alternative fuels. “Sustaining and promoting investment in all of these pathways is a key prerequisite for any new policy,” said De Vries.
Modern power unit
The modern vehicles of today and tomorrow are propelled by a highly-advanced power unit to transform energy into motion, consisting of a combination of technologies to do the job: electric drivetrain solutions, energy recuperation and power boosting devices, e-fuels and highly-efficient combustion engines. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to achieve the energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction targets: cars and vehicles serve different mobility purposes and customers must have the choice to pick the power unit that fits their needs best, says CLEPA. The association believes new CO2 legislation should adopt technology neutrality as the core principle to promote innovation and competition for the best technologies and achieve the policy objectives for 2030.
A mid-term review in 2025 should make sure that reality comes into play and allow adjustment to market uptake, customer choice, energy mix, infrastructure and technical developments, according to CLEPA. “We know what the ingredients of modern mobility will be, but their actual mix is at present highly unpredictable. We need Europe, therefore, to pursue its emission-reduction goals in the most realistically challenging way,” added Vavassori. “Our industry is a partner in that process and ready to contribute its knowledge and expertise.”