May 2024 Editorial – EPN Consulting Newsletter

SHARE

Those who are loyal readers of the EPN Consulting Newsletter and my editorials know we never talk about politics. However, we are now approaching a very interesting period where the EU is going to general elections from 6th to 9th June and the UK is going to snap general elections on 4th July.

All these elections will concern the future of half billion people and certainly have a particular importance, also due to the specially delicate moments we have been living and I don’t refer only to the two wars currently ongoing.

All countries have started a crucial transitional period where things cannot stay as they have been until today. From energy to transport, from agriculture to the environment, from smart grids to AI, every single sector is undergoing a dramatic and irreversible change.

As a matter of fact, these changes will need a lot of time and money (i.e. investments) to happen and sensible decisions, which have to be taken quite rapidly now, are meant to cast effects for the next decades.

Before taking these decisions, countries – governments, actually – must have a precise, high-level strategy in mind. They must have crystal clear which pros and cons every single action will envisage. They must design a very robust set of risks management & mitigation plans, because once hundreds of million or even billions of GBP/EUR (currency is not important now) are to be spent, this money will be gone and they need to be sure these investments will bring benefits.

One example of a very popular topic: electric vehicles, which is expected to revolutionise mobility. EVs need batteries plants, a plan for recycling those batteries in a few years, a reliable and dense charging infrastructure, a good amount of (hopefully green) energy produced.

Currently, the country leading the batteries manufacturing sector is China, like it or not. The USA chose to impose 100% tariff on batteries and EVs imported from China; the UK and the EU are not yet ready to self-sustain the production of all batteries the market will request. With regard to Stellantis, not only did they decide to produce also hybrid vehicles instead of full electric only (sees Fiat 500 and 600, and Jeep), but also announced they are going to distribute in Europe EVs produced by the Chinese Leapmotor.

Isn’t all this confusing? And politicians? Are we sure all countries have the right people in the office, properly informed and prepared, with the robust technical and economic background that would be needed in these crucial moments? I am not that sure.

Stefano Mainero
EPN Consulting and EPN Consulting Research and Innovation Founder & CEO