General Motors Europe President Nick Reilly remarked that Europe needs to gain the lead in developing technology for electric mobility or its rivals in Asia will "enjoy [its] market opportunities." Reilly told the Automotive News Europe Congress that Asia has an "amazing" speed in moving up on battery and other technology.
Reilly, a former head of General Motors Co.'s international operations in Shanghai and who is also CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, said that Europe will require "unprecedented technological breakthroughs and major investments."
Many international studies forecast the eventual disappearance of combustion engines and their replacement by electric motors.
Some studies even predict that the electric car will be a mass product within 10 years. Reilly added that when he spent time in Korea and China, he came to admire the "intellectual curiosity, the studiousness and the dedication of Asians." To develop electric cars, battery technology and other alternative energy, China has invested billions.
This has resulted to major technology advancements and a quick drop in unit costs. Reilly added that European legislators can support its carmakers by harmonizing green taxation and incentives and putting an end to multiple technical specifications and requirements in the 27 EU member states.
He also pointed out the need to "balance out environmental, social and competitiveness objectives."