Daimler labour chief urges lawmakers to promote car charging

European lawmakers should promote electric car charging infrastructure as aggressively as they seek to lower carbon dioxide emissions, Michael Brecht, works council chief at German carmaker Daimler, said.

Carmakers have warned that European Commission proposals to cut average new car emissions in 2030 by 50% below 2021 levels threaten manufacturing jobs, which are heavily dependent on assembling combustion engine cars.

Overall demand for cars could suffer if ownership of electric vehicles was not made more attractive with more readily available charging networks, Brecht said.

“The political establishment should not decide on a green deal to tighten carbon dioxide emission limits unconditionally,” Brecht said. “There has to be a master plan for ramping up charging infrastructure. There are lots of small initiatives but there is nobody bringing it all together.”

Earlier this week, the European Parliament voted in favour of a legally binding target for the European Union to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030.

“Fundamentally its a good strategy, but ramping up electric mobility is problematic. We will not end up with the same number of employees,” Brecht warned.

Brecht said the carmaker has reviewed its strategy to free up resources to retool its factories and retrain workers to build low emission cars.

Audi says plant in Mexico remains open, debt dispute denied by company

A Mexican auto plant belonging to German carmaker Audi NSUG.DE remains open and did not close following a dispute over unpaid bills that the firm denies, as was reported by local media, an official with the company said.

The plant is located in the central state of Puebla. Media had reported officials from the local municipality shut the facility on Friday after several hours of failed talks to resolve a dispute over an alleged 90 million pesos ($4.3 million) in outstanding debts on items including local property taxes and water bills.

“There was never any closure,” said Christine Kuhlmeyer, a communications official with Audi Mexico.

“We comply on time with our obligations,” she added.

Asked about the figures circulating in local media about the allegation of unpaid debts, Kuhlmeyer said she could not comment on any specific amounts, but said plant representatives would be talking with state authorities on Monday.

“There were efforts like what’s been reported in the news, but they weren’t able to close the plant,” she said. Friday night and Saturday morning work shifts were not interrupted, she added.

Audi is the luxury car unit of Europe’s biggest carmaker, Volkswagen.