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Can Google, Uber, BlaBlaCar and Zipcar make mobility cleaner?

Transport is not the most innovative of sectors so when the top people of Uber, Google, Nokia, Zipcar and BlaBlaCar got together at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig last week, there was an air of excitement. The picture they painted was of a radically different transport system, revolutionized by the internet, mobile phones and autonomous, electric driving. What this could mean for people was captured well by Philippe Crist from the OECD. He estimates the advent of the digital age could reduce the number of cars by an eye-popping 90% in urban areas.

US state trials pay-per-mile

The US state of Oregon is to start an experiment in replacing fuel taxes with a distance-based charge. The experiment could be the start of a US-wide switch to ‘pay-per-mile’ charging, but buyers of fuel-efficient cars say the new scheme discriminates against the investments they have made in cleaner technology, and civil liberties groups say they have concerns about the satellite data that would be collected.

Rail tunnel financing saves congestion charge in Gothenburg

The city council in Gothenburg has decided to keep the city’s congestion charge despite the result of a referendum held last September that called for its abolition. The decision to maintain the charge was taken in order to protect funding for a new rail tunnel under the city centre.

Electro-mobility and alternative fuels central to ‘energy union’ agenda

Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.

Car tax regimes determine countries with lowest CO2 from new sales

Countries with the lowest CO2 emissions from new cars usually have registration and company car taxes which are strongly graduated according to CO2 emissions and have the greatest influence on car buyers’ choices, T&E’s latest How Clean are Europe’s cars report has found.

Push to end Belgium's 'company car paradise'

Three Belgian NGOs have handed in a petition to the country’s federal parliament aimed at getting the Belgian government to end its favourable treatment of company cars. The three NGOs, including T&E member Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL), collected 25,000 signatures protesting about a fiscal regime in Belgium that makes it more lucrative for employers to pay their staff through company cars and company fuel than by giving them more money.

France moves against diesel

France has set itself on course to displace diesel as the preferred fuel for private cars, with the prime minister describing French pro-diesel transport policy as ‘a mistake’ and announcing financial incentives to replace the country’s extensive diesel car fleet in order to tackle air pollution. The mayor of Paris has also announced plans to largely ban diesel cars, buses and trucks from the city by 2020.

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