LAS VEGAS -- Electrification is vital to address climate change, but high battery costs threaten to derail the right to mobility in Western democracies, said Patrick Koller, CEO of French supplier Forvia.
Small battery-electric vehicles for urban use can cost about 10,000 euros ($10,600) more in Europe than in China, Koller said during a news conference at CES.
That means rapid innovation “is a must” if the industry and major democracies hope to effectively fight climate change without negatively impacting their economies or societies at large, he said.
“We don’t know how to make small cars with affordable batteries,” Koller said. “China knows it.”
Other executives, notably Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, have sounded a similar note in warning about EV costs.
Forvia, formed last year by Faurecia’s acquisition of Hella, ranks No. 7 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers, with 2021 worldwide parts sales to automakers of $25.88 billion.