French government sources have reportedly said Paris is reluctant to delay post-Brexit tariffs set to hit EVs traded between the UK and the European Union – in both directions.
Under the EU-UK post-Brexit trade deal, EVs need to have 45% EU or UK content from 2024, with a 50% to 60% requirement for battery cells and packs.
Earlier this year the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (Acea) warned that the 10% tariff placed on EU electric vehicle exports to the UK could cost EU automakers €4.3 billion over the next three years.
Luca de Meo, ACEA President and CEO of Renault Group issued a plea to the European Commission to “act immediately.”
He said: “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.”
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While automakers in the UK or the EU have not built up their EV supply chains sufficiently to meet these tighter requirements, France is reportedly concerned that allowing a delay until 2027 on these tariffs would benefit Chinese firms.
The French government also does not want to delay the levy, as it is concerned this action would have the appearance of “giving in to UK requests,” Bloomberg reported.
Additionally, Reuters reports that France, by agreeing to delay, would effectively reopen a UK-EU deal that took a considerable time in negotiating.
Speaking to the Guardian in September, European commissioner Thierry Breton said that the EU could not change Brexit agreements to appease the automotive industry. “What has been negotiated has been negotiated and I think it’s very important to stick to a treaty when it has been so difficult to do it,” he said.