Efforts to expose Europe’s rail companies to more competition have moved a step forward, with the EU’s Fourth Rail Package being approved by MEPs. The measure was controversial in some respects, but T&E has given the news a cautious welcome.
By Jelena Simjanovic, clean energy directorWHAT I LEARNED IN 2016: I joined T&E in late summer, soon after the European Commission published its Low-emission Mobility Strategy. Its goals looked promising: increasing efficiency of the transport system; speeding up the development of low-emission alternative energy for transport; and moving towards zero-emission vehicles. While I had a general idea about biofuels and sustainability issues around them, I entered the transport world after 10 years of working on a variety of energy sector issues and carbon markets. I feel privileged to have a job where I can learn as much as I have learned in the past five months, while at the same time utilising my extensive knowledge of the electricity and energy markets for the discussion on transport electrification and development.
The European Parliament at the plenary session in Strasbourg today voted to start exposing Europe’s incumbent passenger rail companies to more competition but falls short of ensuring Europeans will get better, cheaper train trips in the near future. Sustainable transport group, Transport & Environment (T&E), thinks today’s vote is a small step in making rail more efficient and customer-focused so as to attract more people onto trains.
After many false dawns the electric car is finally on a trajectory to replace the internal combustion engine.
This paper provides a number of recommendations for the implementation of the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure (AFI) Directive and more specifically for a innovation-oriented implementation of standards mandated by the AFI Directive, namely the deployment of normal- and high-power recharging infrastructure, intermodal electro-mobility synergies, as well as smart charging and payment solutions. If left unchecked, these issues could have negative consequences for the wider uptake of electro-mobility.
The Commission opened a public consultation on the “Eurovignette” Directive, which defines how Member States can charge heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain roads. The Directive will be reviewed in 2017. This is T&E’s response to the consultation.
The Platform for Electro-mobility welcomes the Commission’s Strategy for Low Emission Mobility in driving the shift to clean, low carbon transport powered by electricity. Integrating all type of emissions is one key element of the uptake of electric vehicles, especially in cities and urban areas, allowing local and regional authorities to better comply with other European standards beyond CO2 emissions.
The idea of an electric vehicle (EV) sales quota is gaining momentum. Recently the Netherlands' parliament voted to make 100 per cent of new car sales emissions-free by 2025. Dutch MPs also told the government to make this possible through EU policy - most likely in the form of an EV sales quota for carmakers as part of the next round of car CO2 standards.