After many false dawns the electric car is finally on a trajectory to replace the internal combustion engine.
At least a quarter of new buses bought by local authorities and public companies will need to be clean vehicles by 2025, EU lawmakers decided last week. More than 75% of buses in Europe are publicly procured, and these purchases and leases will be subject to nationwide binding targets based on the fuels the vehicles run on, in the cases of buses and trucks, and their emissions in the cases of cars and vans.
The European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee today backed safer ‘direct vision’ trucks and buses , amongst a dozen new life-saving measures for cars, vans, buses and trucks. The new direct vision standard will drastically reduce deadly blindspots, enabling truck and bus drivers to see more of the road around the vehicle, thus preventing accidents with cyclists and pedestrians. The European federation of green NGOs, Transport & Environment, welcomes the vote but stresses the urgency of wrapping up this law before European Parliamentary elections in May. Failing to reach a deal before this Parliament mandate would mean another 18 months wasted to save lives.
Europe is set to start cleaning up its public buses in the coming decade after EU lawmakers today agreed binding targets for the procurement of zero-emission vehicles by local authorities and public companies. More than 75% of buses are publicly procured, and negotiators agreed that at least a quarter of these will have to be clean buses in 2025, and at least a third in 2030, under the revised Clean Vehicles Directive.
MEPs have given a thumbs-up to spending €10 billion of the EU’s transport infrastructure budget on smart, sustainable and safe transport projects like re-charging stations and railway signaling upgrades. T&E said that guaranteeing this funding for the period 2021-2027 – as part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – is crucial if Europe is to meet its climate targets.
The European Parliament has given a boost to the take-up of electric buses, with a vote that strengthens the bus chapter of the European Commission’s Clean Vehicles Directive. But with elections to the parliament due in May, it is now a race to get the directive approved before the legislative process would have to start again. T&E has since published a report showing that total cost of ownership of e-buses is now almost at parity with diesel buses when health external costs are included.
Fully electric buses only account for 9% of urban bus sales in Europe – despite being cost competitive with diesel buses when the costs of air pollution and noise are taken into account. That’s according to a new analysis of urban buses by T&E focusing on orders received by bus-makers and the total cost of ownership of different bus types.
Urban buses are the first transport mode where electrification is having a significant impact today. This trend is driven primarily by the rising awareness of toxic air pollution in our cities from internal combustion engines and supported by the compelling economic, comfort, and noise advantages. We expect urban buses to be the first transport mode to reach zero emission thanks to electrification.
The mayor of London and representatives of other British cities have called for a ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars to be introduced in 2030 – 10 years earlier than the earlier announcement by the UK government. Their call comes as a court in Germany has ruled that banning diesels from a historic city is a legitimate way to combat air pollution, and Milan has taken the first step towards banning diesels from the city by 2025.
Some 97% of Spain’s population is being exposed to harmful levels of air pollution, a report by T&E’s Spanish member Ecologistas en Acción shows. The economic recovery has brought an increase in the use of diesel for cars, airplane jet fuel, and coal to generate electricity. The main source of pollution in urban areas, where most of the population lives, is road traffic.