TREMERY, France — Stellantis said on Wednesday it will speed up the production of electric motors at its factory in Tremery (Moselle), long the world’s largest diesel engine plant, to account for 50% of the facility’s capacity by 2024.
In 2021, diesel still accounted for 67% of production at this plant in northeastern France. But by 2024, diesel engines will make up only 30% of installed capacity. Gasoline engines, which are also used for hybrid electric vehicles, will make up 20% of capacity. Within the last decade, diesel accounted for more than 50% of new car sales in Europe, but the technology has fallen out of favour as the European Union has focused instead on zero-emission solutions for cars.
Earlier on Wednesday, EU countries clinched deals on proposed laws to combat climate change, backing an effective ban on new fossil-fuel car sales from 2035 and a multibillion-euro fund to shield poorer citizens from CO2 costs.
The shift to electric presents the auto industry with considerable challenges for jobs and training. An electric motor has a third of the parts of an internal combustion engine, requiring fewer parts and hours for production.
The Tremery plant, which opened in 1979, has already shed jobs. The factory currently employs around 2,400 people and a nearby gearbox plant in Metz has 1,100 workers, compared to 3,000 and 1,400 respectively in 2019. Stellantis still makes diesel models like the new Citroën C4X. But others like the Peugeot 408 are switching to gasoline and hybrid models only.