PSA CEO Voices Unbacked Concerns Over Societal Issues Of EVs


According to PSA CEO Carlos Tavares, the adoption of electric cars will bring forth many societal concerns that most people aren’t considering.

Despite the fact that PSA’s plan for the future includes further electrification efforts, Tavares feels the need to explain his qualms with the technology. Perhaps this is because a fully electrified lineup is still far off, and other automakers are moving ahead much more quickly.

Read Also: PSA CEO Supports Newly Acquired Opel’s Electric Cars Effort, As Long As It’s Profitable

Peugeot 208 (ICE)

PSA Group aims to have some form of electrification in half of its lineup by 2020. However, “some form” is not saying much. The automaker is looking at 2025 to offer a fully electrified lineup.

Again, the keyword here is emphasized. There’s no talk about a fully electric vehicle lineup at any point in the foreseeable future.

Tavares’ specific concerns revolve around battery production. He feels there will be many consequences involved in the switch, and he doesn’t believe others are aware or truly understand. He shared (via Autocar):

What I wonder about is who is taking the 360 degree view? There is so much more to consider than selling electrified cars, from the battery creation to the battery recycling, from the rare metals being used to the extraction techniques to get them, to what it means for taxation, the total cost of ownership, the charging point infrastructure and more. If you want clean energy you need to ask how you produce that energy.

From my perspective, the current strategy around this 360 degree view is lacking clarity. The car industry is moving quickly and strongly, but from cities to governments I am a little worried that the answer is that nobody has a cohesive approach. If they miss something then the whole strategy could backfire on us, not just as an industry but on citizens as a whole.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Peugeot / Citroën


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63 Comments on "PSA CEO Voices Unbacked Concerns Over Societal Issues Of EVs"

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Wait until the Ceo of PSA realises that the voices of society are ordering the other brands because they have EV,s , or more specifically BEV’s.
Whilst he is waiting to get the message, he is comfortable as each pay check rolls on into his account. so he cares how much about the company or society?


PSA CEO Carlos Tavares Said: “What I wonder about is who is taking the 360 degree view? There is so much more to consider than selling electrified cars, from the battery creation to the battery recycling,…”


Not good when the CEO is in wonder paralysis…


His concerns are legitimate. Taxation is difficult. How do you tax for roads if people are buying electricity instead of petrol? Recycling is important, but it is already being addressed. It sounds like you’re having issues finding battery suppliers, which is funny because you’re not willing to talk to Tesla. So… rather than being a whiner about it, get involved and do something! If you feel like dragging your feet, great. The free market will sort the wisdom of that decision out for you.


It’s simple, just tax it annually and spread it evenly over all the vehicles registered.


Not so simple…you can’t really tax trucks and small cars the same (weight and such), nor can you tax someone who drives 50,000 miles the same as you tax someone who drives 7,500 miles. There are a lot of formulas that will need to be developed.


So you add a scaling factor for weight, axles, etc – But this isn’t exactly rocket science, nor does it involved calculus, it’s simple multiplication..

To make things more of a “usage” tax, just to annual reads of the odometer when renewing car registration or at annual safety inspections, toss in a multiplier for the car, and call it an annual road fee. It makes more sense to factor it into a transaction with the state that you do once a year, versus messing with tying it into every single retail transaction to by gasoline.

None of the problems he mentioned are “hard” or insolvable, they just involve different approaches from today, perhaps he views “multiple changes” as hard. Most of these changes involve different parties (not car makers), so the market will figure most of this out, with the proper economic incentives (some deposit for the battery to encourage recycling, or something like that..) The recycling streams today manage to handle recycling of glass bottles, lead acid batteries (which are quite nasty, and have a 99% recycling rate) today, we’re just adding one more..


Sure, that’s obvious. Now, how do we convince politicians to do something obvious?


Not difficult at all. Just use an annual odometer reading to measure miles, and that can be the basis for a fair road tax. In States where you have to get an annual vehicle inspection, the odometer reading can be added to the inspection form, if it’s not there already.

We already differentiate — at least in the U.S. — between “cars” and light trucks, so the weight class is already assigned.

Besides, as I understand it, heavy freight trucks do 90% of the damage to roads, so the difference between small cars and big SUVs and the like shouldn’t really make much difference, as far as paying for road maintenance goes.


Tax should be the easiest one to resolve. Just look at how many miles/kms you drive the vehicle each year. Based on the type of vehicle determines the rate. The tax can be collected with the registration. Maybe people are still able to fake the odometer, but if they have then that is a different offence anyway.


He admits he does not have a view – its lacking clarity, the future, for him. So the only view he can access, is the rear view mirror as life progresses. And if you drive along the road of life only looking in the rear view mirror at your past, whats there to look forward to?
So scratch the psa alliance off any future ev shopping list.. dont forget to tell your friends — I will too. And I am only interested in new cars that are electric. No gas.


If only the discussion was as simple as “Hey the other car brands got this, so we have to have it too – and soon Tesla is going to rule the world”…
This guy has a very important point (or several actually) and his statements are an opportunity for everyone to start using the inside of their heads.


I see PSA being ate up by a major brand since there are more a regional brand and new emissions entry bans popping up soon


The car industry is moving quickly and strongly (to develop evs)? I would hate to see what his version of slowly and with caution would be.

I like the new changes to the website, not as archaic as previously.


Where has this guy been the last 10 years? It’s like Rip Van Winkle just woke up and started looking at building EVs.


He brings up good points, but all of them are being worked out by governments and society. The taxation is being addressed, although perhaps not equitably. The use of rare metals (although not that rare) are being reduced. There are plenty in the ground. China produces most of them because they have the lowest labor rate and little environmental regulations. If demand pushes up prices, US and other mines that have closed will reopen. Battery recycling – We are just beginning to address that as first generation EV batteries get replaced (think early Leaf). Clean energy – how much wind power came on line last year? How many coal power plants were closed? Charging point infrastructure – where there is a need, someone will build them. That’s how our economy works.

No need to worry. These things will be worked out. PSA can be in the ballgame or sit on the sidelines and watch.


It is an interesting and intelligent argument. One that I have no sympathy for, but then I think I see the motivations:
– He needs to address the criticism, he is surely getting, for being one of the last to get moving toward EVs.
– Like the big three American automakers, plus Toyota and Honda, he is doing all he can to slow the transition.
– He wants to appear to be concerned about us.

If he truly cared about any of this he would be implementing solutions, not just pondering the effects. When you are so far behind, you might as well call the race stupid and make excuses – right?


Yes, he is deflecting like Ford, Mercedes and VW, when they go on about Cobalt mining, but say nothing of all the banana republics fossil fuels support.




Provide a sort option at the top Newest First, Or Older First.

FYI- I generally like the new interface. How do you add an Avatar?


To add an avatar, register at the Gravatar website, using the email address you use when posting comments here.

Good questions to ask, but the same concern of a 360 view generally apply for the petrol economy too, but different questions. I encourage him to start an industry consortium to look at the 360degree view between the status quo and an electric future, and work to solve the concerns. Maybe with Musk as the chairperson, because Elon does not lack for vision. 1.) battery creation to the battery recycling A: Auto batteries can be repurposed to grid storage. And probably recycled further after that. Some could have a 20 year lifespan? 2.) rare metals being used to the extraction techniques to get them. A: The rare metals, are not really that rare. But industry should work to explore new sustainable and socially concsious sources, and work to encourage problem regions to clean up their humanitarian issues if they want to continue to sell those minerals. 3.) what it means for taxation, A: huh? Same issue for higher efficiency vehicles. WA state has some of the highest gas tax, but because of EVs and efficient ICE, are looking at a per mile road tax. Not an issue. 4.) the total cost of ownership, A: less for EVs once initial price… Read more »
Sy Kung Ho

Good thing Henry Ford didn’t think like this guy. He would think, “Gee, there are hardly any roads or gas stations. No one has even dreamed of taxes for roads. Where is the rubber to come from? Maybe we should wait for a clearer vision before we start mass producing cars.”


Newest comments on the bottom.

Someone out there

The same old bunk that has been rehashed many times over already in other words


I’m currently driving Peugeot 2008 and it’s really nice car, very good build quality, reliable, low consumption… Was looking for buying 2008 BEV as soon as they start to produce it. But it looks like they will offer some awkward HEV God knows when and BEV is many years away. That’s just not acceptable and they will loose many customers including me over this.


I hate having the newest comments at the top. That means if you read comments as a conversation, you have to start at the bottom and read up!

But as EVFan said, the best option would be to allow the user to select between Oldest First and Newest First.

Oh, and thanks very much Steven for allowing us to vote up/vote down comments! That should reduce the troll comments posted to IEVs significantly.


“There is so much more to consider than selling electrified cars, from the battery creation to the battery recycling, from the rare metals being used to the extraction techniques to get them, to what it means for taxation, the total cost of ownership, the charging point infrastructure and more.”

Nothing but a collection of very well-worn “concern troll” FUD about EVs. But then, what should we expect from a gasmobile manufacturer as old and outdated as PSA?

Personally, I’d far rather trade these rather minor concerns for the present situation, in which the world economy’s dependence on petroleum is propping up dictators and despotic regimes which oppress their own people, fuel conflict in the Mideast, and gives Big Oil the obscene levels of profit it uses to fund so much of the corruption that’s rampant in the U.S. Congress… and now even the current President’s cabinet!

Move over, dinosaur gasmobile maker PSA! There’s a fast-moving, smart new competitor taking over your territory, and you’re gonna be extinct soon.

It’s hard to predict which current auto makers won’t survive the EV revolution, but it sure looks to me like PSA will be one of them! 🙁


Someone needs to introduce Tavares to Dyson who just acquired Sakti3 the Solid-State battery technology company. They need to have a long conversation about Solid-State & Polymer Batteries. Tavares could also due with a long conversation about upcoming advancements in PV Solar energy.

Bill Howland

I’d give the ceo of PSA a bit of a pass on this. For a while France had a shortage of electricity during cold winter months due to what some would describe as over-adoption of electric space heating.

Since electric cars obviously (BEV’s) use much more electricity in the winter than the summer to run the defroster, etc, this is just exacerbating France’s Electricity shortage in the wintertime, and PHEV’s are therefore an efficient solution since the cabin heating of a PHEV during the winter time is extremely high, and is much more grid-friendly.