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EU urged to stall post-Brexit tariffs on electric vehicles

Electric vehicle in charging station
Electric vehicle in charging station Copyright Suwinai Sukanant/Canva
Copyright Suwinai Sukanant/Canva
By James Thomas
Published on Updated
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If put in place, the tariffs could cost EU vehicle makers €4.3 billion over the next three years, according to the ACEA

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The EU needs to act quickly to postpone post-Brexit rules that would impose 10% tariffs on electric vehicles traded between the bloc and the UK, Europe's automobile industry group has urged.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said on Monday that the tariffs, if put in place, could cost EU vehicle makers €4.3 billion over the next three years, causing electric vehicle production to plummet by around 480,000 units.

“Driving up consumer prices of European electric vehicles, at the very time when we need to fight for market share in the face of fierce international competition, is not the right move -- neither from a business nor an environmental perspective,” said Luca de Meo, ACEA President and CEO of Renault Group. “We will effectively be handing a chunk of the market to global manufacturers.”

Under the post-Brexit trade deal, electric vehicles need to contain 45% EU or UK components as of January 2024, or 50-60% in the case of battery cells and packs. Failure to do so will result in a 10% import tariff to either the UK or the EU.

The ACEA said that neither carmakers in the UK nor the EU have built up their electric vehicle supply chains sufficiently to meet the new requirements, hence its call for the new rules to be postponed until 2027.

“Europe should be supporting its industry in the net-zero transition as other regions do --not hindering it,” said de Meo. “There is a very simple and straightforward solution: extend the current phase-in period for battery rules by three years. We urge the Commission to do the right thing.”

A spokesperson for the European Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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