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French Auto-workforce could shrink 30% in shift to EV

France risks losing nearly a third of its automotive jobs by the end of the decade in the accelerating transition to electric vehicles that’s making many suppliers obsolete, according to a new study that its author said could apply to other European countries.

The French auto industry — home of the Peugeot, Citroen and Renault car brands — will shed between 15% and 30% of staff, Alix Partners said in a report. Under one scenario of how quickly EVs will take hold, this would mean as many as 52,000 job losses.

Carmakers would cut the most, it said, while jobs could be added in emerging businesses like battery making.

The study is the latest downbeat view of the effects of the shift to EVs on jobs. Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess  in recent weeks battled tensions among workers after suggesting significant job cuts might be needed to compete with Tesla Inc.

The AlixPartners report, commissioned by the French car lobby La Platforme Automobile, would likely see similar results in other countries in Europe with automotive industries, according to Alexandre Marian, managing director in Paris.

Suppliers will feel even more pressure from carmakers taking on production of some equipment such as EV motors, he said.

Auto components for EVs are roughly 60% more expensive than for vehicles running on fossil fuels, raising their average cost per vehicle to 24,000 euros ($27,000)

Vehicle content from French suppliers will fall about 11% as carmakers ramp up in-house production of some components like batteries through joint ventures

The study’s reference scenario assumes a vehicle mix in 2030 that includes 49% EVs, 21% plug-in hybrids