By Greg Archer, clean vehicles directorWHAT WE LEARNED IN 2016: After many false dawns, 2016 is the year electric cars showed they are on a path to rapidly replacing the infernal combustion engine. There are now more than half a million battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on Europe’s roads, and annual sales are expected to top 1.5% of the market for the first time. While the figures are modest, Dieselgate has created an EV earthquake, shaking carmakers from their complacency.
By William Todts, freight and climate directorWHAT WE LEARNED IN 2016: “So what did you learn in 2016? And could you write a blog about it?" asked our communications officer.Silence. My God, where do I start, I thought. First Brexit, then Trump, and before all that there were people bombed on the metro in my hometown. What a year! But I can't write a doom and gloom Christmas blog.Then somehow I started thinking about this one thing that had really surprised me. A year ago I was campaigning to get the EU to introduce truck CO2 standards and, frankly, things weren’t looking great. Yes, there had been the Paris agreement, but still the odds were stacked against us. The Commission just didn't want to budge and the truck industry seemed all-powerful.
The Commission is currently drafting its “road initiative”, which consists of two main objectives: one is the protection of the rights of truck drivers and the other is a promotional mechanism to encourage a cleaner freight transport system. If done properly, this will have a positive impact on ending the exploitation of foreign truck drivers while also reducing CO2 emissions from road transport. However, vans simply bypass all of these laws and, if the Commission fails to address this, it could open the door to the further exploitation of drivers and result in dirtier and more congested roads.
Discussing benefits, risks and potential of electrifying city logistics and public transportation, this event addresses representatives of member states, the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament.
Electro-mobility offers an unequalled solution to make Europe’s transport more efficient and less polluting. But the market for electric vehicles (EVs - both battery and plug-in hybrids) has had several false dawns. Finally in 2015, sales of electric cars reached the important milestone of a 1% market share. Overall electric car sales doubled in 2015 to 145,000. The most recent data in 2016 suggests further growth in 2016. Sales year to date suggest significantly more than 200,000 plug-in vehicles will be sold in Europe this year taking the total number of EVs on the road to more than 500,000.
The European haulage industry and green groups have jointly called for stricter rules for vans as transport carried out by vans continues to increase. In a letter, the organisations ask that the Commission uses its upcoming road package to level the playing field between vans and trucks.
Europe can only meet the climate targets Heads of State agreed on for sectors outside the Emissions Trading System (ETS) if it sets fuel efficiency standards for new cars, vans and lorries by 2025 or earlier, a new study by Transport & Environment (T&E) reveals . In a middle-of-the-road scenario where transport would cut CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 , the study found that CO2 standards for all vehicles (cars, vans and lorries) in 2025 and 2030 would deliver a whopping 42% of the emissions reduction required from transport.
The Commission has said a number of EU member states could be making more and better use of environmental taxation.