With Paris going to host the 2024 Olympic games, it’s ramping up plans for a shared and autonomous vehicle future. Sometimes seen as a 19th century pre-car capital, the city of light could become the world’s first post-car metropolis. By 2020 all diesel cars will be banned and, by the time the games roll into town, driverless taxis should be making ride after ride – freeing up precious parking space.
A strategy for turning Europe’s car fleet from fossil-fuel-powered to electric has been outlined in a new study for T&E. It suggests the continent must set a target of electric cars making up more than a half of all new vehicles sold by 2030, and that to achieve this joint efforts must now begin between the EU, member states and industry.
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.
This briefing collates a range of evidence and shows that carmakers are failing to achieve their own targets for sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. It also shows that the very limited choice of electric cars, long waiting times to receive cars, limited availability and crucially a lack of marketing investment are contributing for carmakers’ lack of sales.
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 enough – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.
Crop-based biofuels were seen as a way to reduce the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels and decarbonise the transport sector. But emerging evidence about negative environmental and climate impacts of these biofuels has led to the European Commission proposing to gradually phase-out the policy support in the EU. Industry stakeholders argue that this would adversely affect past investments and put jobs at risk.
The move to effectively disqualify high-emitting biofuels – mainly food-based biodiesel such as palm oil or rapeseed – from use in Europe’s cars and trucks, proposed today by the lead MEP on biofuels policy reform, has been welcomed by green transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). EU countries would, for the first time, have to account for the indirect land-use change (ILUC) emissions of biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive , according to the draft report for the European Parliament’s environment committee.
The German parliament has approved the first law that promotes the use of car sharing. It will come into effect in September, shortly before the German parliamentary election.
New global figures from the International Energy Agency suggest the growth in renewable energy is greater than expected. Over the next few years, this growth will further enhance the environmental advantages of electric transport.
Can Europe fall in love with biofuels again? This was the question a big biofuels producer asked in his Valentine’s letter to EU policy makers. The occasion for his love letter was, of course, the European Commission’s proposed reform of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which regulates biofuels in Europe.