The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs, on average, €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not the full bill – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.
Transport and energy ministers today backed plans to spend €7 billion of the EU’s transport infrastructure budget on more sustainable projects like electric vehicle re-charging points and upgrades to rail signalling. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the ministers’ earmarking of part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the period 2021-2027.
MEPs of the industry and transport committees voted this morning to reject plans to guarantee 40% of the EU’s transport infrastructure budget (some €12 billion) be spent on more sustainable projects like smart grids and charging stations. European NGO federation, Transport & Environment (T&E) is disappointed with this vote because it locks in considerable funds into fossil fuel powered transport. Thus T&E calls on all MEPs to reject this in December’s plenary vote.
Electromobility is the most promising future technology to decarbonize road transport. Grid management is critical to electric vehicle adoption. Smart charging is key to minimize the amount of investments needed in the grid. Large scale deployment of EVs represents an opportunity to store large amounts of renewable electricity in batteries, reducing curtailment. EVs can even work as virtual power stations.
Despite the perception that public recharging is a major barrier to the mass uptake of electric vehicles (EV), public chargers are only used for about 5% of charging events, including on-street city charging, car parks and fast charging along road corridors. The data compiled in various studies to date shows that the vast majority of EV charging happens at home or work and it is a lack of choice and availability of electric cars that is the principal barrier.
Which comes first, electric cars or the recharging points? How to tackle this dilemma has been the subject of considerable debate. This report examines the importance and availability of public charging infrastructure and how to efficiently expand the existing network as the number of electric vehicles on the road increases.
Platform for Electro-Mobility reaction to European Parliament ITRE commitee vote on EPBDToday MEPs voted for electric vehicle charging points to be required in all new non-residential buildings. As they are more frequented than private buildings, large non-residential buildings ensure high visibility for and intensive use of EV charging points, the Platform for Electro-Mobility  said, welcoming the European Parliament industry committee's decision.
The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) determines how EU money is spent. The current €1 trillion budget runs from 2014 to 2020 with almost €100 billion earmarked for investment in the transport sector. The current MFF Regulation states that “the Commission should present a proposal for a new multiannual financial framework before 1 January 2018”. This budget would most likely start from 2021.
Transport is the largest source of EU emissions and accounts for around a quarter of EU GHG emissions. Meanwhile air pollution from road transport contributes to over 400.000 premature deaths per year, 26.000 people die in traffic annually and the EU economy loses €100 billion every year in congestion. A large portion of the EU’s budget is currently spent on expanding road infrastructure and building up fossil fuel infrastructure (e.g. LNG terminals). A future EU budget should invest tax payers money more carefully, and prioritize investment in infrastructure that reduces the environmental impact of transport and assists member states in reaching their climate goals. In this paper T&E outlines how part of the post-2020 budget should be allocated.
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.