Europeans are tired of smog in the cities. The public sector needs clean, energy-efficient buses, trucks and delivery vans. The European industry has a long-term innovative impulse.
“60 percent of the emissions that make up smog comes from transport. We must fight it. The public sector in particular, at local or regional level, should set a good example by buying low and zero-emission cars”, said Andrzej Grzyb MEP, the European Parliament’s Spokesman on the proposed changes to the Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road vehicles, adopted today in the European Parliament.
The idea is that a certain proportion of vehicles - light-duty vehicles, trucks, buses - that are procured by the public sector should emit zero or low emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2) into the atmosphere to help fight air pollution in cities.
The proposed changes in the document oblige states and local government units to make part of the vehicles they buy or services ordered, in particular in public transport, low or zero emitters of CO2. The Directive mainly concerns the purchase of buses, lorries, delivery vans, but also passenger cars.
For each EU Member State, an objective adjusted to the level of its wealth has been set. Moreover, the EPP Group proposed that new provisions also allow for greater flexibility in the selection of vehicles which are considered clean. Besides electricity and hydrogen which are treated as a priority, these are, for example, LPG and biofuels, including biogas.
“This would help to promote clean transport, encourage new technologies such as electric vehicles and other alternative fuels vehicles and help to achieve the climate goals we agreed in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement”, Grzyb continued.
The EPP Group also backed a mechanism that will allow the better protection of European car manufacturers.
"Tenders organised for the purchase of clean vehicles will be open to companies from outside the EU, only if their home countries grant the same access to EU companies on an equal basis. Such a provision favours equalising the rules of international competition, supports European jobs and technological development in the EU”, Andrzej Grzyb concluded.
After the vote in the European Parliament, the Council must adopt its position after which negotiations will follow. The adoption of the final shape of the Directive is planned for February 2019.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States
On 8 November 2017, the European Commission presented a Clean Mobility Package. The update of the Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles is one of six initiatives presented in the package. An assessment of the original Directive from 2009 showed that it had a limited impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases (CO2) and had no significant effect on the development of and growth of clean vehicles.