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EU Competitiveness Ministers Discuss EVs, AI in Budapest

EU

Photo by SOMKID THONGDEE / Shuttestock.com

European Union competitiveness ministers addressed the electromobility transition and the impact of artificial intelligence on European competitiveness at an informal meeting in Budapest on Tuesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

At a press conference during a break at the meeting, held in the framework of Hungary's presidency of the Council of the EU, National Economy Minister Márton Nagy said the ministers had discussed how to accelerate the process of EV adoption before the ban on production of internal combustion engines came into force in 2035. He pointed to the need for stronger cooperation and coordination as well as the need for a common roadmap to advance penetration.

He said the delegates at the meeting were in agreement on the need for an expansion of charging infrastructure. He acknowledged that approaches to subsidies for EVs varied among member states and called for common demand- and supply-side support at the EU level.

A goal of Hungary's EU presidency is to "mitigate fragmentation", he said.

Fielding questions, Nagy said that Hungary was "very against" EU tariffs on some Chinese EV manufacturers. "Protectionism is not the solution, we need more competition," he added.

Illustrating the point, he said that European battery manufacturers couldn't match the scale, cost or efficiency of their competitors from South Korea or China.

He added that the localization of China's EV makers had started well before the announcement of the tariffs. 

He noted that a vote on whether or not to make the tariffs permanent would be taken at the end of October or early November.

He said concrete proposals, drafted with the input of industry insiders and decision-makers, would be published on Wednesday.

He thanked the delegates at the meeting for their "highly appreciated" input.

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