The Future of the Automotive Industry: Emerging Europe’s Self-Driving, Electric Dreams Claudia Patricolo The father of the electric car was a Hungarian inventor. His successors throughout emerging Europe are ensuring that the future of driving looks increasingly as though it has found a home.
ometimes it only needs the right idea to change the world. People can invent extraordinary things not realising the extent of what they have in their hands. This happened to the Hungarian inventor Ányos Istvan Jedlik, who invented the first rotary machine with electromagnets and a commutator, becoming in 1828 the father of electric vehicles. Unfortunately, the device had no influence on the further development of electric machines. However, thanks to bigger players, such as Germany, the US and the UK, electric vehicles are spreading all over
the world. According to the European Environment Agency, in 2010 only 700 fully-electric battery-operated vehicles (BEV) were sold in the European Union. In 2015, sales topped 150,000. Since Mr Jedlik’s big idea, Hungary has come a long way: thanks to a 2 billion HUF investment made by the government in 2016, nearly 30,000 electric vehicles are planned to be in use in Hungary by 2020. Hungary Vehicle manufacturing is today one of the strongest industrial sectors in Hungary. But what makes Hungary 44
such an ideal destination for the automotive industry? “Cheap and flexible labour, the proximity of outbound markets, ideal market regulation, low-cost industrial sites and favourable tax incentives can be listed as factors,” Csaba Killián, CEO of the Association of the Hungarian Automotive Industry (AHAI), tells Emerging Europe. “The easy accessibility of Hungary is often cited as one of its main advantages: it is at the crossroads of four main European transport corridors. Hungary has one of the highest motorway densities in Europe and has five international airports. The country’s
Emerging Europe's quarterly look at business, economics and current affairs.