Small cars can soon double, Renault boss believes

The segment of small cars with internal combustion engines could double in price with the emerging emission standard, which could speed up the advent of comparable electric cars.

Cars belonging to the small car segment, also known as the B-segment or the supermini segment, have not had an easy time in recent years. In many markets of the old continent, these are still bestsellers, but in some places they are slowly being pushed out by small crossovers or SUVs.

However, it is still an interesting segment, as confirmed by the combined sales of about 2.25 million cars last year alone, which was one of the weaker ones. However, in addition to the growing interest in SUVs and crossovers, small cars, ie those with internal combustion engines, are threatened by one more thing.

We are talking about the forthcoming Euro 7 emission standard, which should enter into force in 2025. Due to stricter requirements for emission limits, car manufacturers will have to invest significantly in systems that regulate the resulting emissions of the car, which will not be cheap. And of course it will be reflected in the final price of the car.

At the same time, Luca de Meo, the head of the Renault Group, also opened this topic in a recent interview for Autocar, according to whom it does not look best with the popular segment yet. Automakers already have to fight to keep their small models profitable. But with further investments due to emissions, this can change quickly.

Whether you are building a Clio for 15,000 euros or a Mercedes S-Class for 120,000 euros, you need a particulate filter containing platinum, rhodium and other precious metals. Sure, the S-Class filter will be a bit bigger, but the percentage will be cheaper and the customer will be able to afford to pay for it. However, this will complicate the lives of carmakers producing small cars, ”Luca de Meo should have mentioned.

According to his estimates, B-segment cars with internal combustion engines could double the price of the Euro 7 emission standard. Thanks to this, however, the way could be opened for a faster transition to electromobility, which in the meantime is becoming more accessible.

In our experience, battery prices are falling by an average of 10 percent a year. And small electric cars need smaller batteries, so the percentages are cheaper faster than family-sized electric cars. As cars with internal combustion engines become more expensive, comparable electric cars will become cheaper, ”Believes de Meo.

According to him, the moment is slowly approaching when the price curves of small electric cars and cars with internal combustion engines intersect. And apparently from then on, electric cars will become a more affordable and probably more effective mobility solution in Europe.


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