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Govt expresses support for major green mobility project

Idrija, 12 October (STA) - The government expressed support for an initiative by ten automotive suppliers to form a partnership with the government and scientists in the field of green mobility whose ultimate goal is to increase total annual sales of the automotive industry in Slovenia from EUR 3 billion today to EUR 5 billion by 2030.

Prime Minister Janez Janša and the relevant ministers and state secretaries were presented the project by the participating companies and the Slovenian Automotive Cluster as they visited Idrija, a major car part maker hub, on Tuesday.

The organisation said in a press release that the initiative featured the companies Domel, Hidria, Iskra Mehanizmi, Kolektor, LTH Castings, SIJ Acroni TAB, Talum, TPV and Unior, modelled after similar projects in the EU.

The project focusing on green mobility, called GREMO, looks to establish a partnership with the government and the scientific sector to create a new model of innovation and put Slovenia among the progressive EU countries in this respect.

The partners will develop and produce innovative solutions and products for electric mobility, develop advanced production technologies for it, facilitate the introduction of advanced robotics and automation and digitalisation of production.

All operating processes would be developed under the principle of Industry 4.0, and solutions of circular economy would be provided in production processes in order to significantly contribute to reducing carbon footprint.

Development is planned to be focused on the latest innovative solutions for high-efficiency electric drivetrains, advanced solutions for storage and creation of energy and extra light recyclable materials based on bio materials, the release adds.

Hidria Holding director Iztok Seljak told the press after the meeting that this was the "initial phase of green mobility", and that the trend would be facilitated at a fast pace in the following few years due to the commitments to reduce emissions.

For the planet to be protected and for climate change to be slowed down, the automotive industry must not lag behind in innovation, Seljak said, adding that the industry needed support from the government, scientists and local environments.

Janša pointed to the climate challenges and noted that transport was a large part of these. "It will simply not be possible to achieve these goals without a transition to a different mode of propulsion and a different use of energy sources," he said.

The prime minister believes that, as the automotive industry accounts for almost 20% of Slovenia's exports as a generator of economic growth in the country, these topics do not only address CO2 emissions and transition to zero-carbon mobility, but also development of innovation and quality of life in Slovenia.

Janša announced that the relevant ministries would appoint coordinators to address dilemmas and open issues and the government would then a adopt a strategy by the end of the year on how to help those dealing with the challenge of zero-carbon mobility.

The project is expected to increase total annual sales of the automotive industry in Slovenia from EUR 3 billion today to EUR 5 billion by 2030, and bring an additional 2,500 jobs for highly qualified staff with higher added value.

Added value per employee in the industry is expected to increase from EUR 50,000 to EUR 70,000 and, consequently, annual payment of social security contributions and taxes from the industry is expected to increase from EUR 280 million to EUR 360 million.

Seljak said that breakthrough innovation for green mobility of future required EUR 600 million in the next five years, of which EUR 400 million would be covered by the industry itself, and EUR 200 million would be chipped in by the government.

Janša added that funds for this cause could also be drawn from the EU as part of the recovery and resilience plan.

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