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Cars: are we ready to go fully electric on the Côte d’Azur and in the Var?

In 13 years, it will theoretically be impossible to acquire a new vehicle with a petrol, diesel or hybrid engine in Europe. This was decided by the European Parliament in June, although the French transport minister Clément Beaune and the EU commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton are leaning towards a clause to revise the targets in 2026.

Good news for the climate? “Yes, but it won’t be enough” answered the experts invited to the Assises de l’electro-mobilité organized by the Departmental Council of the Alpes-Maritimes (this Tuesday and Wednesday) in Nice, in collaboration with the association for the future of the electric vehicle (Avem).

His ambition? Support the development of electromobility in the department and “to take up the challenge”, introduced President Charles Ange Ginésy.

Areas prohibited for the most polluting vehicles

In order to maintain air quality, local authorities have the option of defining emission zones with low mobility (ZFE-m), where the circulation of the most polluting vehicles is prohibited. This has been the case since January 31 on the Promenade des Anglais and in Nice’s hypercenter for the most polluting trucks, buses and coaches.

The ban is extended on 1 January 2023 to light vehicles in Crit’air 5 (diesel registered until 31 December 2000) and then on 1 January 2024 to light vehicles in Crit’air 4 (diesel registered until 31 December 2005).

In the Toulon Provence Méditerranée metropolitan area, the establishment of a ZFE-m is under consideration.

“Not carbon neutral”

While supply is exploding among manufacturers and government support, combined with that of local communities, continues to encourage more and more drivers to take the plunge, there are still brakes.

Vehicles are still too expensive, the network of rechargeable electric terminals insufficient and the manufacture of batteries is a source of pollution. “An electric vehicle is not carbon neutral” confirms Nicolas Doré, coordinator of alternative fuels at Ademe, a public institution that supports the ecological and energy transition under the supervision of the Ministry of Ecological Transition. Its carbon impact is nevertheless three times lower than that of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.

“Increased consumption of mineral resources”

“The sinews of war are the battery. The race for electric vehicle autonomy results in ever-larger batteries”, recalls Igor Hazanavicius, manager at FEV Consulting, specializing in the design of electric vehicles. “Their manufacture induces an increased consumption of mineral resources”, warns Yannick Gomez, engineer at the Innovation Unit at the Atomic Energy Commission. Copper, lithium, cobalt, manganese, graphite…

“However, there are tensions over these raw materials. We also have to take into account geopolitical issues, because the majority of these batteries today are produced in China. Their recycling will therefore be a central issue of territorial sovereignty.” he concludes.




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