Europe could improve its growth prospects and create 500,000 to 1.1 million net additional jobs in 2030 through auto sector innovation. Increased technology to cut fuel consumption would allow the EU to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and deliver between €58 and €83 billion a year in fuel savings for the EU economy by 2030. This shift will achieve the double bonus of mitigating climate change and creating a much-needed economic stimulus.

These are some of the conclusions of a new report – Fuelling Europe’s Future: How auto innovation leads to EU jobs – released today by a consortium of transport sector stakeholders. The technical analysis was conducted by Ricardo-AEA and the economic modelling by Cambridge Econometrics.

Key findings:

  • Jobs are created by increased spending on vehicle technology, but more importantly by a shift in spending away from imported fossil fuels and back towards other areas of the European economy.
  • In scenarios in which the Internal Combustion Engine is either optimized or hybridized, the yearly cost of running and replacing the EU car and van fleet is reduced by €36 billion and EU-wide employment increases by 500,000 to 660,000 in 2030. This takes account of jobs lost in the transition, such as in refining.
  • In scenarios in which Europe moves rapidly to a fleet of advanced hybrid, battery-electric, and fuel-cell vehicles, EU-wide employment increases by 850,000 to 1.1 million in 2030. By 2050, jobs increase by 1.9 million to 2.3 million in all low-carbon scenarios examined.
  • The fuel bill for Europe’s car and van fleet is reduced by €58 – 83 billion in 2030 by a shift to low-carbon vehicles, and by €115 – 180 billion in 2050 (excluding taxes and duties).
  • While jobs are created and spending on oil imports is reduced in all low-carbon scenarios, CO2 is also cut by between 64 percent and 97 percent in 2050. Air quality is significantly improved, with emissions of health-damaging particulates down by 73 to 95 percent by 2050.
  • Demand is reduced for a small fraction of auto sector professions, and some skill shortages also emerge during the transition. The pace of change is likely to allow time for the development of the relevant new skills in Europe, if industry, governments, and academic institutions start planning now.

In a complementary policy brief, EU Power Policies for Plug-in Electric Vehicles: Accelerating from here to en masse, RAP explores how regulation of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) can be developed to minimise negative grid impacts, maximise grid benefits, and shrink the total ownership gap between PEVs and internal combustion engine vehicles.