CLEPA | Joint call to stimulate the European automotive industry’s transformation and enhance competitiveness

Open letter to the President of the European Commission,
Ursula von der Leyen

Dear President,

The signatories of this open letter support the European Commission’s renewed focus on a competitive automotive industry in Europe and wish to thank you for the constructive dialogue.

All signatories represent the broad spectrum of the automotive value chain and are committed to shaping the green and digital transition. We proactively contributed to DG GROW’s transition pathways exercise. Since DG GROW initiated this exercise, geopolitical challenges have put additional pressure on the decarbonisation of transport.

Failure to act now within the current mandate risks further delays that will inevitably undermine the European automotive industry’s transformation and competitiveness. It will also put at risk employment in an industry that generates more than 13 million jobs in the EU. The European Commission must urgently establish a robust framework to manage these challenges and prioritise six key actions.

I.    Develop a robust industrial strategy
China provides a telling example of a targeted industrial strategy supporting a globally competitive, domestic auto industry in electromobility. The US Inflation Reduction Act also shows that a robust industrial policy framework can trigger hundreds of billions in private investment . The EU must develop a robust industrial strategy that guarantees a level playing field (outside and within the EU), provides a stable investment environment and fosters a competitive automotive industry and industry manufacturing in Europe. This includes a competitive regulatory framework, the availability and simplicity of financial resources to stimulate industrial investment in innovative green and digital technologies and production methods in Europe with guarantees to ensure the retention and creation of quality jobs while ensuring fair distribution of profits and not surpassing the needs of the SMEs. A crucial pillar of a robust industrial strategy will be to secure reliable energy sources at competitive prices, which will reduce costs for citizens and businesses.

II.    Scale up a European zero emission market and battery value chain
Achieving road transport decarbonisation depends on the entire value chain for zero-emission vehicles. In addition to the Critical Raw Materials and Net-Zero Industry Acts, the EU needs a strong response to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to boost investment in the European battery value chain and other components that are crucial to improving the environmental performance of vehicles.  Europe should reduce dependency on critical parts of the value chain from third countries. The regulatory framework for batteries, drive trains, recyclability, and circular economy must be clear, coherent, and stimulate investment in Europe. Support for the battery and drive train value chain should be complemented with a robust hydrogen strategy, both with regard to industrial and mobility applications.

III.    Ensure a stable and coherent regulatory environment for the sector
The current fragmentation of the EU regulatory framework for the sector creates a context of uncertainty that undermines investment and weakens market demand. The EU should complete the Single Market (including the recharging and refuelling infrastructure as well as electricity) and remove barriers for cross-border trade. The Commission should make proposals to streamline and better articulate regulations, reaffirming the importance of technological neutrality supporting innovation and competition. The Commission should also conduct extensive impact assessments and competitiveness checks before proposing new regulations, including closely monitoring investment and innovation capacity. In particular, restrictions on the use of substances critical for the performance and durability of batteries, semiconductors, and other critical technologies should be assessed carefully.

IV.    Enhance the skills agenda and Just Transition framework
The green and digital transformation must go hand in hand with a Just Transition. The EU must champion a transformation roadmap, especially for regions reliant on the automotive sector. The automotive social partners, European Automotive Regions Alliance and Automotive Skills Alliance should play a leading role in this transformation plan. The Commission should also do more to boost digital skills for a high-tech auto industry.

V.    Improve transport affordability
The EU should ensure affordable and sustainable mobility for all while industry is intensifying its efforts to produce vehicles and services affordable to all. Coordinated incentives should support green investment and repairability across the full aftermarket chain, eg vehicle acquisition in new and second-hand markets. Incentives can enhance affordability, especially as rising costs have eroded European purchasing power.

VI.    Ensure a global level playing field 
Automotive and two- and three-wheeler vehicles provide good examples of changing global trade relationships. State aid policies in third countries put European manufacturing competitiveness at risk. Diversification of the supply of raw materials should be a central pillar of the EU’s trade strategy, including the ratification of existing trade agreements and the negotiation of raw material partnerships.

The signatories of this open letter recognise the critical situation for the European automotive industry. We are committed to decarbonising transport and keeping jobs and automotive manufacturing in Europe. The European Commission should take account of these challenges, and we hope we can jointly secure the European automotive industry’s transformation and European welfare.

Yours sincerely,

Sigrid de Vries, Director General of ACEA
Antonio Perlot, Secretary General of ACEM
Bernard Lycke, Director General of CECRA
Delphine Rudelli, Director General of Ceemet
Benjamin Krieger, Secretary General of CLEPA
Adam McCarty, Secretary General of ETRMA
René Schroeder, Executive Director of EUROBAT
Judith Kirton-Darling and Isabelle Barthes – Joint Acting General Secretaries of IndustriALL



CLEPA 2023 General Assembly elects new leadership

In the context of its General Assembly, CLEPA, the European association of automotive suppliers, approved its membership composition, annual accounts and its new statutes. CLEPA members elected Mr Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technologies at Schaeffler, as incoming President of CLEPA. Mr Zink will assume the role in January 2024, succeeding Mr Thorsten Muschal, Executive Vice President of Sales at FORVIA, who has successfully led the association over the last four years.  

in CLEPA, 27-07-2023

Expressing his enthusiasm for the new role, Mr Zink states, “As the group representing the interests of the European automotive supplier industry, CLEPA has a significant role to play in the process of shaping more modern and sustainable automotive mobility. CLEPA’s task is to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account during this process. I am pleased that I will be able to support and help shape this important function in a key position together with other sector colleagues from the beginning of the coming year.?As a European and as a businessman, I am convinced that the relevance of CLEPA will significantly increase during the next few years, not least to ensure that European interests are heard at an international level.” 

Reflecting on his term, Mr Muschal notes, “I am proud of the achievements we have made together at CLEPA, especially considering the unprecedented challenges we have faced over the past three years. The transition is only beginning, and it is crucial that we continue to work together towards shared objectives. I look forward to actively carrying out my full mandate, and to the handover with Mr Zink.” 

The CLEPA General Assembly served as an important forum for cooperation, empowering the association’s members to tackle industry challenges collectively and promote a harmonised approach towards the mobility transformation in Europe. 

The CLEPA membership is presently composed of more than 140 members, including 116 corporate members, 12 national associations and 19 associate members. Since June 2022, CLEPA has welcomed 12 new members, reinforcing its position as the voice of the sector. The most recent members are:  

  • Aurobay  
  • BASF 
  • DuPont 
  • FEV 
  • Harman 
  • Klimator  
  • Qualcomm 
  • Tallano Technologies 
  • STMicroelectronics 
  • Stratvision  
  • Swissmem 
  • Wayve 



CLEPA | Automotive and battery manufacturing coalition signs joint letter of concern on Carbon Footprint Rules for Electric Vehicle Batteries

The EU JRC (Joint Research Centre) has recently issued a final draft of the “Rules for the calculation of the Carbon Footprint of Electric Vehicle Batteries (CFB-EV)”, entering a phase of consultation. Battery and automotive manufacturing organisations have jointly addressed representatives from the European Commission (DG GROW and DG ENV) with a letter of concern regarding these Rules.

in CLEPA, 27-07-2023

“While the effort to regulate and provide additional guidance on the carbon footprint calculation of electric vehicle (EV) batteries is both sensible and appreciated, the draft contains some aspects that raise concerns for the industry, particularly regarding the assessment of the impact of recycled material (and the so-called modelling of the “end-of-life”)”, they write.

The JRC document proposes to apply the so-called Circular Footprint Formula (CFF) to the calculation of battery carbon footprint, in reference to the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method, as a way to model the end-of-life of EV batteries. The coalition raises that this calculation not only adds a significant complexity burden for practitioners and reporting companies, but also deviates from other globally recognised accounting practices. Therefore, they recommend EU institutions to use the widely adopted and recognised “cut-off” approach for the modelling of end-of-life of EV batteries, instead of the CFF.



Forum on Automotive Aftermarket Sustainability to officially establish as new European association

  • Leading players in the aftermarket sector consolidate efforts to drive innovative sustainability solutions and best practices through new EU association
  • Official presentation to take place during FAAS Sustainability Day at FuturMotive Congress on 16-18 November in Bologna

in CLEPA, 14-07-2023

Just nine months after its successful launch last September, the Forum on association. Comprising 28 prominent members, the FAAS is a forward-thinking initiative dedicated to advancing sustainability, promoting greener practices, and delivering solutions within the automotive aftermarket sector. Automotive Aftermarket Sustainability (FAAS) announces the formation of a legally registered, non-profit European association. Comprising 28 prominent members, the FAAS is a forward-thinking initiative dedicated to advancing sustainability, promoting greener practices, and delivering solutions within the automotive aftermarket sector.

Under the guidance of the FAAS Secretariat, initiated by CLEPA (the European Association of Automotive Suppliers) and FIGIEFA (the European Association of Automotive Aftermarket Distributors), preparations are underway to establish a governance structure, formalise the FAAS as a legal entity, and launch an awareness campaign to expand its membership base. Additionally, the new association is set to introduce new membership categories to foster broader participation and engagement.

The official presentation of this initiative will take place during the highly anticipated FAAS Sustainability Day, scheduled for 16-18 November in Bologna as part of the ‘FuturMotive’ Congress. Laurence Eeckhout, FAAS coordinator on behalf of FIGIEFA, shares the enthusiasm shown by the unanimous support from members during the recent plenary meeting: “We are pleased that members are engaged in a journey where actors in the aftermarket sector are joining forces to enhance collaboration, exchange best practices, and foster sustainable initiatives that will have a lasting impact along the entire supply chain. Together, we anticipate substantial growth in our membership,  as well as the optimisation of packaging, re-use and re-manufacturing of parts, and digitalisation of  logistics.”

Frank Schlehuber, CLEPA’s Senior Consultant Market Affairs, emphasised the importance of collective action within the automotive aftermarket: “While numerous stakeholders operate within the industry, we all share a common goal. Effecting meaningful change requires the acceptance and support of all market players. Therefore, a joint initiative involving stakeholders across the value chain is essential to achieve swift and impactful results.”

The mission of the FAAS

The FAAS represents a unique collaborative endeavour initiated by CLEPA and FIGIEFA, uniting  the automotive aftermarket supply chain in a holistic pursuit  of greener and more sustainable solutions for the European aftermarket.

To achieve its sustainability objectives, the FAAS currently operates four working groups comprising a wide range of relevant actors from the European automotive industry:

  • Working Group 1: Conducting a comprehensive study to assess the CO2 footprint of the automotive aftermarket sector and the CO2 impact of maintaining a vehicle on the road for longer vs. replacing it with a new vehicle.
  • Working Group 2: Addressing existing barriers to component remanufacturing through improved knowledge and understanding, while emphasising the significant contribution of remanufacturing to the circular economy, with the aim to increase the market share of remanufactured products.
  • Working Group 3: Developing a standardised Product Carbon Footprint methodology applicable to all players in the automotive aftermarket sector, consistent with other initiatives in Europe.
  • Working Group 4: Focusing on optimising supply chain logistics by forming strategic partnerships between suppliers and wholesalers, and developing recommendations to reduce the environmental footprint of shipping.


CLEPA | Advancing EU leadership towards climate-neutral mobility: New position paper on CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

  • CLEPA supports the revision of CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles as part of the EU’s objective to reach climate neutrality by 2050
  • Technology diversity is essential for operators to select the ideal clean technology for specific use-cases, enabling a competitive and efficient freight transport sector
  • Ambitious CO2 targets require equally ambitious enabling conditions at both the EU and Member State level, necessitating substantial additional investments

in CLEPA, 29-06-2023

In June 2019, the European Union implemented its initial CO2 emission performance standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), marking a significant milestone. These standards aimed to achieve a 15% reduction in average CO2 emissions of newly registered HDVs in 2025 and a 30% reduction from 2030 onwards, compared to a baseline set in 2019/2020.

In addition to the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package of energy and climate legislation, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for revised HDV CO2 emission performance standards on 14 February 2023. The proposal expands the scope to cover additional vehicle groups, sets more ambitious CO2 reduction target for 2030, and introduces new targets for 2035 and 2040.

HDVs play a vital role in the prosperity of the Single Market as well as local and regional economies. From medium-sized trailers to long-haul trucks, these vehicles have diverse use-cases, ranging from carrying heavy loads up mountains, to facilitating urban deliveries, requiring a variety of technology options that best fit the need.

CLEPA’s new position paper therefore underscores the importance of granting operators the flexibility to choose the preferred clean technology for specific use-cases, enabling a competitive and efficient transport sector. Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), H2-engine vehicles, and electrified trailers should all be classified as zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and treated as equally viable options for meeting future CO2 fleet standards. Additionally, the standards should incorporate a method to account for CO2 savings achieved through the use of low-carbon and carbon-neutral fuels, promoting the adoption of all valid technologies and maximising overall emission reduction.

CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, notes “The proposed CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles are an ambitious step towards achieving climate neutrality. To foster a successful transition, it is crucial to grant operators the flexibility to choose the most suitable clean technology for their specific needs. This will promote healthy competition and optimise transportation operations while enabling the adoption of all valid technologies and maximising overall emission reductions.”

Further, enabling conditions must be in place to achieve the proposed CO2 reduction targets for HDVs. The position highlights the need for robust measures at both the EU and Member State level to support the necessary investments in low and zero-emission vehicles. In particular, establishing adequate charging and refuelling infrastructure is essential. Without sufficient enabling conditions, even the existing CO2 reduction targets will be challenging to achieve. To meet the proposed targets for 2030, 2035, and 2040, substantial additional investments are required.

CLEPA emphasises the importance of regular assessment of enabling conditions and periodic evaluation of the legislation’s effectiveness. The paper recommends conducting the first review by 2027 to ensure timely adjustments if necessary.

The position paper also supports the inclusion of new vehicle groups in the proposed legislation. CLEPA endorses the rapid adoption of type-approval for electrified trailers and the swift incorporation of energy-efficient options for trailers into VECTO. Furthermore, the paper highlights the need for sufficient lead time and established annual reduction rates for newly included vehicle groups.


Download CLEPA’s position paper on CO2 emission standards for HDV



CLEPA | EU co-legislators reach agreement on the Data Act – a sector-specific legislation must now quickly follow

  • The Data Act agreement in trilogue is expected to allow third-parties to provide innovative services to the end user, but will need a complementary regulation that addresses the complexities of the deployment of data-based services in the auto sector
  • A prompt publication of the sector-specific proposal is necessary to improve competition, boost innovation capabilities, and protect consumer rights and choice

in CLEPA, 28-06-2023

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached an agreement last night on the Data Act legislation, which will regulate how data generated by connected objects can be accessed and shared.

Automotive technology is rapidly advancing, with vehicles generating and collecting ever greater quantities of data to operate and monitor systems. This data offers a huge potential to improve and develop new services for the benefit of consumers. However, automotive suppliers and other third-party service providers currently rely on the willingness and conditions of a limited group of market players to provide access to this data. Such a level of control on the market carries the risk of creating “gatekeepers,” with a detrimental effect on fair competition, innovation, and consumer choice. Both personal cars and commercials trucks are affected by this issue.

CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, welcomes the conclusion of the negotiations on the Data Act. The final agreement has yet to be reviewed in detail to assess the latest changes. Overall, CLEPA expects this horizontal legislation will be an important first step towards improving the situation by ensuring that third-parties can provide innovative services to the end user. Moreover, the association welcomes that this legislative text puts the consumer at the centre and imposes obligations on data holders.

Nevertheless, the Data Act alone will be insufficient to fully address the complexities of the deployment of data-based services in the automotive sector. Therefore, we strongly advocate for the swift publication of the proposal for a complementing sector-specific regulation, which is currently being drafted by the European Commission and has been publicly confirmed. The Parliament and Council made the Data Act a priority and managed to conclude complex discussions in a very short time period. We now call on the Commission to dedicate the same effort towards the sector-specific legislation and publish its proposal by the end of the summer.

“A prompt publication of the sector-specific proposal on access to in-vehicle data, functions, and resources by the Commission will contribute to improving competition, boosting innovation capabilities of thousands of automotive supply companies, and will protect consumer rights and choice,” says CLEPA’s Secretary General Benjamin Krieger. “The technical work and discussions behind this legislation have been going on for years. It is now time for the proposal to be finalised and published.”

Earlier this year, CLEPA published a position paper looking at the complexities of vehicle data services in the European mobility ecosystem. You can read it here.



CLEPA | Commission takes a step in the recognition of automotive suppliers’ contribution to sustainable economy

  • Climate Delegated Act incorporates the production of powertrain components including e-motors, power electronics, thermal management and braking systems in its definition of sustainable economic activities
  • Critical activities are still at risk of being overlooked by capital markets

in CLEPA, 14-06-2023

The European taxonomy regulation aims to direct investments towards sustainable commercial activities. This means that, over the coming years, the sustainability level of each business activity will influence its access to funding. On 13 June, the European Commission presented new proposals for delegated acts that amend and complement the classification scheme for sustainable business activities. CLEPA welcomes this initiative and sees the delegated acts as a step forward in the acknowledgment of automotive suppliers’ contribution to a sustainable economy and their role in the advancement of green mobility in the EU.

Originally, the taxonomy regulation did not recognise the economic activities related to the production of e-mobility components as ‘sustainable’, while the assembly of electric vehicles was considered as such. The proposed amendment to the Climate Delegated Act will recognise a significant share of the manufacturing of powertrain components, including power electronics, thermal management and braking components, as contributing to the environmental performance of the car, if installed in a zero-emission vehicle. For automotive suppliers, the delegated act marks a crucial first step to improve the level playing field and secure funding for critical supply chain elements and zero-emission mobility.

The circularity chapter of the Delegated Act on non-climate environmental objectives gives much-needed recognition to the sustainability contribution of some aftermarket-related activities, but so far excludes the design for circularity and remains ambiguous on remanufacturing actions by automotive suppliers. As a result, critical activities by automotive suppliers remain at risk of being overlooked by capital markets and could suffer from underinvestment. The use of low carbon/recovered materials, lightweighting, and product robustness should be considered in future revisions of the taxonomy.

In order to establish a fair and level playing field within the automotive sector, future improvements are needed. Many automotive supply companies continue to face unequal competition with OEMs, who can claim eligibility for the revenue generated by a sold vehicle whose value is generated by all components, while the manufacturing activities of a large share of these components remains non-eligible.

Unless Member states or the European Parliament object to the publication, the delegated acts will enter into force after a period of four months. CLEPA stands ready to support the European Commission in the development of a comprehensive pathway towards a fair taxonomy that effectively recognises the valuable contributions of all automotive suppliers in mitigating climate change, preventing pollution, and promoting circularity.




CLEPA endorses Euro 7 as key regulation for future air quality standards

  • Automotive suppliers support the further development of the type approval rules with the introduction of Euro 7, driven by a commitment to sustainable mobility, improved air quality and public health.
  • Key considerations regarding timing and both technical and economic feasibility need to be addressed to ensure the effective implementation of the new rules.
  • A swift adoption of the regulation is essential to provide predictability for industry and allow the early introduction of new requirements.

in CLEPA, 05-06-2023

The European Commission published the Euro 7 proposal with the aim of improving air quality and public health in the EU by reducing pollutant emissions coming from road transport. CLEPA, the European association of automotive suppliers, welcomes this initiative and recognises that the European Commission’s proposal makes a significant step towards higher ambition, offering potential for further reduction in the environmental impact of new vehicles on air quality.

“The European supply industry supports Euro 7 as an important tool to meet future air quality standards in Europe and at the same time secure high-quality technology standards in the EU. Euro 7 is feasible and affordable if certain safeguards are met,” explains CLEPA’s Secretary General Benjamin Krieger.

Specific considerations regarding timing and both technical and economic feasibility need to be addressed to ensure the effective implementation of the new rules. Key factors influencing the overall ambition of the new regulation are the specific technical parameters for vehicle testing, which need to ensure that testing is performed under realistic driving conditions and the exclusion of “biased driving”. CLEPA’s new position paper aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of the proposed regulation and offers recommendations to facilitate the advancement of sustainable mobility in Europe.

A swift adoption of the new rules, including implementing and delegated acts, within the current legislative period are critical to a successful implementation. “Most of the discussions are already underway but a timely adoption is crucial to provide predictability for industry and allow the early introduction of new requirements, which could be around mid-2026 for passenger cars,” says Benjamin Krieger.


Read CLEPA’s Position Paper on Euro 7




CLEPA | Fleet vehicles capture larger share of the EU aftermarket

  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and CLEPA have collaborated to identify Europe’s fleet aftermarket drivers towards 2030.
  • The fleet business is significantly growing, with Germany, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Poland alone set to account for a fleet aftermarket size of €45 billion.
  • Market players aiming to thrive must prioritise EV-specific and cost-focused solutions, embrace enhanced connectivity and foster collaboration for maximum impact.

in CLEPA, 05-06-2023

CLEPA has teamed up with BCG to examine the role of fleets in the aftermarket by 2030. The findings of the new report identify the main fleet drivers in the European aftermarket, provide a forecast for the fleet market size within the total aftermarket and determine strategic recommendations for market players.

Results show that fleet vehicles are capturing a significant and rising share of the European aftermarket. Five countries alone (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Poland) will account for a fleet aftermarket size of €45 billion in 2030 (~37% of the total aftermarket).

At the same time, fleets are also expected to have a significantly higher electrification rate (48%) with an average vehicle age of ~2.9 years by 2030. Frank Schlehuber, co-author and Senior Consultant Market Affairs at CLEPA states that: “Fleet vehicles are becoming increasingly relevant for the European aftermarket but competence on electric vehicles, especially for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, will be key in gaining access to its service and maintenance business.”

The report offers a list of four strategic recommendations that aim to help aftermarket players prepare for developments, focusing on the importance of introducing EV-specific and cost-focused solutions, preparing for connectivity as well as ramping up collaboration with other aftermarket players.

Read the full report below

Download full report



CLEPA’s Materials Regulations and Sustainability event unites stakeholders to drive sustainability in the automotive supply industry

CLEPA, the European association representing the automotive supply industry, successfully concluded its 15th edition of the Materials Regulations and Sustainability event. After three online editions, the event, which took place in Stuttgart, brought together a diverse range of stakeholders, including experts in materials, chemicals, and ecodesign, as well as regulators and industry leaders in corporate sustainability and reporting. Over the course of two days, more than 200 participants gained insights into the latest regulatory and legislative developments impacting the automotive supply industry.

in CLEPA, 26-05-2023

The key message coming out of the event was fostering cooperation across the value chain and across regions, but the challenges were also made clear. The industry is facing considerable uncertainty due to regulatory delays, ambiguities in criteria and definitions, and the necessary trade-offs between chemical restrictions, circularity and sustainability.

The conference was also an opportunity to highlight the industry’s initiatives and achievements. In his opening remarks, CLEPA’s Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, stated: “Automotive suppliers are driving sustainable solutions through smart investments, circular product design, technology diversity, and global partnerships.” He went on to say: “While we acknowledge the challenges, we are equally aware of the new business opportunities, which will increase demand for new skills and tools, as well as the best engineers and IT experts – together building the cars of the future.”

Chemicals regulations will come at a cost to the industry, but predictability can help the transition

The European Commission outlined the progress and implementation status of the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS), emphasising that its execution, particularly the generic restrictions of REACH, will incur costs for the industry and turnover will be negatively impacted. The Commission agreed that more predictability will be key for success. A representative from the chemicals industry association CEFIC also highlighted the need for clarity, a workable timeline for implementation, simplification of existing bottlenecks and support for SMEs. During the first day, the audience learned that as it stands, the proposed PFAS restriction is a serious threat to the automotive industry and the European Green Deal. The automotive industry is planning a two-step approach to the consultation with a first submission before the summer break and a second before the deadline in September.

Suppliers anticipate the unveiling of the revised End of Life Vehicle Directive (ELVD)

The automotive industry’s commitment to Circularity measures was another prominent theme. The European Commission shared a sneak-peak of what the industry can expect for the revision of the ELVD, slated for June 2023, highlighting the issue of missing vehicles, extended scope to new vehicle classes, and mandatory recycled content quotas as key considerations. The Commission also noted its intention to turn the Directive into a Regulation. The industry emphasised the importance of getting the framework right and scaling up recycling technologies while ensuring feasibility and reduced environmental impact. The challenge of defining Substances of Concern (SoCs) based on their impact on recycling was also discussed, along with concerns about the “no data, no market” principle.
The impact of the transition on circularity was also identified as a priority for R&D. Several engaging presentations showcased the work of relevant EU-funded projects. Notably, a representative from the CIRPASS project shared key takeaways derived from mapping various Digital Product Passport (DPP) initiatives and platforms, shedding light on the path to fostering innovation and driving sustainability through R&D efforts.

Critical Raw Materials access will be a key challenge in the upcoming years

The Commission projects a staggering uptick in demand for lithium in batteries in the EU, set to grow to 12 times the current demand by 2030 and an astounding 21 times by 2050. Recognising the importance of securing a sustainable supply of critical raw materials, the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) seeks to address this pressing issue. However, several challenges must be tackled, including scaling up sustainable extraction, processing and manufacturing of material, as well as providing sufficient quality of secondary materials. CLEPA highlighted the importance of forging strategic partnerships to overcome dependencies, as well as conducting risk assessments and mitigation for conflict affected and high-risk areas, where data emerges as an essential element given the complexity of the automotive supply chain.

Harmonisation of sustainability policies and initiatives is needed to streamline industry efforts

The event also focused on automotive sustainability initiatives and tools, in particular, Corporate Social Responsibility, due diligence and their respective legislative files. Guest speakers from CSR Europe, Responsible Business Alliance and Responsible Supply Chain Initiative shared their insights on sustainability reporting and auditing in the automotive industry and concluded that there is a strong need to streamline these different mechanisms and requirements for suppliers.
Another key aspect of automotive sustainability is a Product’s Carbon Footprint (PCF). With the increasing electrification of vehicles there is an urgent need for a harmonised methodology for PCF quantification. Distinguished speakers from A-PACT, Catena-X, and UNECE IWG A-LCA provided valuable insights into the planned initiatives aimed at enabling the collection, compilation, inter-exchange, and reporting of actual carbon footprint data. It was emphasised that globally accepted calculation guidelines and common tools are essential for accurate PCF calculation. This message was further reiterated during the IMDS session of the event, highlighting the integration of PCFs into IMDS and the intention to utilise the Catena-X PCF Rulebook as a foundational resource.