TURIN -- Diesel engines will account for 9 percent of new-car sales in Europe by 2030 – down from about 50 percent today – as automaker are forced to rely on electrified powertrains to meet tougher emissions rules, according to a study by AlixPartners.
This shift will cause a radical overhaul of automakers' powertrain manufacturing footprint in the region.
“Electrification [of the powertrain] has to come to Europe to meet tougher emission standards and the diesel is going to pay the highest toll,” AlixPartners Vice Chairman Stefano Aversa told Automotive News Europe. “This will cause huge challenges for automakers and suppliers because they will need to change their powertrain manufacturing infrastructure.”
AlixPartners expects that by 2022 the number of European plants manufacturing diesel and gasoline models will decrease to 55 from 62 last year. At the same time, plants that builds electric motors and electrified models will grow to 40 by 2022 from 26 now.
“The financial implications of this manufacturing overhaul are significant but not prohibitive,” said Giacomo Mori, AlixPartners managing director.
Automakers should be able to keep their buildings and retain some conveyors when retooling their plants to make electric motors instead of internal combustion engines, which will keep investment costs down, AlixPartners estimates.
Mori said that, on average, a plant that makes 400,000 engines a year costs 500 million euros to build. A plant that makes the same number of electric motors costs about 50 million to construct and requires about one-tenth of the space needed for an engine plant, which results in significantly lower labor costs.