Comments by Ing. Michal Hrubý for Deník N
Michal Hrubý, an economist and research assistant at the Research Centre of the Škoda Auto University, has commented for Deník N on current topics such as the evolution of electromobility, battery production in the Czech Republic, and the competitiveness of the European automotive industry.
In his article for Deník N, Michal Hrubý mentioned in connection with the prospect of Škoda Auto producing TSI (and MPI) combustion engines for the entire concern while pursuing electromobility that “such an arrangement is likely to bear fruit in the short- and medium-term, creating a relatively clear development and production strategy for several years. There will be plenty of routine work. On the other hand, however, Škoda Auto will have to fight on two fronts, which may pose a challenge. Looking to the long-term, we must avoid cannibalising investments when choosing between combustion engines and electromobility.”
Echoing a study by the Boston Consulting Group and the Aspen Institute CE and a recent statement concerning the need for industrial transformation, where the authors advise that the Czech Republic should focus on manufacturing batteries of at least 140 GWh per year, Hrubý said, “While there is still hope that the “half-giga-battery-factory” will be built, even this project is not a panacea and can be considered the bare minimum for transformation.” He pointed out that the Czech government’s rhetoric on the pace of transformation of the domestic automotive industry has changed with the end of its EU presidency. “Such an approach does not send the right signals to investors,” says Hrubý, pointing to the crucial role of subcontractors who need to prepare for the transition to electromobility. “I believe that continuous focus on combustion engines could harm us economically in the future,” he explained, adding that the domestic industry must capitalise on the split between the two technologies.
However, he added that the split between the two technologies could be particularly challenging given the surge in European imports from China, almost all of which are electric vehicles. “In this respect, the competitiveness of the European automotive industry is really declining, and we have to reckon that European brands will lose part of the market. How much of the market will be lost will be determined by the development of the domestic battery industry and our ability to increase the production of electric vehicles on a much larger scale,” commented Michal Hrubý for Deník N.