Bellona calls on Commission to progress electromobility in Energy Union

Publish date: November 19, 2015

Electro-mobility is key to reach the Energy Union’s goals to decarbonise transport, to contribute to energy security and to create innovation and competitiveness in Europe’s core industries. Whilst some progress is being made, Europe is failing to leverage the full potential of the single market and is making disparate progress across EU member states in shifting towards the wider uptake of electro-mobility. For example; the majority of EU states significantly lag behind Norway, where one out of every five new cars sold is electric. To realise benefits of electro-mobility in the EU, Bellona, alongside a number of industry and civil society actors joined together under the Platform for Electro-mobility, call on the Commission to further facilitate and track the progress of Member States by including concrete indicators for electro-mobility in the annual assessment of Members States’ progress; and, to take initiatives in a number areas to help Member States make more rapid progress.

A joint letter from the Platform for Electro-mobility, an alliance of organisations across industries of which Bellona is a member, was sent to Vice-President Šefčovič and Commissioners Bulc and Arias Cañete, responsible for Energy Union, transport, climate and energy respectively. The main points are addressed below and the letter can be read in its totality here:

Letter_electrification of transport in energy union

The electrification of light vehicles such as bicycles and powered two-wheelers, cars, vans, trucks and buses, and also the further electrification of railways, will help Member States to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2030. Electric transport is a true low carbon alternative to reduce local air pollution in cities, as called for by the Covenant of Mayors. A shift to electro-mobility could halve emissions in urban centres could be halved by 2050 and zero-emission urban logistics could be attained by 2030. Furthermore, electrification is essential to achieve the Transport White Paper’s objective of banning combustion engine cars from urban areas by 2050.

Electro-mobility will also contribute to Europe’s energy security. Investments in electro-mobility will reduce Europe’s €1 billion per day total energy import bill and create additional demand for sustainable domestically-generated electricity, expanding renewable electricity use in transport and achieving more energy efficiency. Electric cars are expected to make an important contribution to the use and the optimisation of renewable energy sources (such as wind at night or solar during the day). True zero carbon mobility will make Europe’s economy more energy secure.

Electro-mobility also drives growth and makes Europe more competitive. It encourages innovation in the European automotive and battery supply chain, and stimulates jobs – 1.08 Mio in 2030, and 2.35 Mio new jobs in 2050 are expected from a shift to electrification of road transport.

To realise these benefits and exploit the full potential of electro-mobility the Platform of Electro-mobility calls on the European Commission to:

  • Incentivise the cost-effective use of electric vehicles in the European car, bus and truck market; and encourage the uptake of light electric vehicles by removing the regulatory and fiscal bottlenecks;
  • Accelerate the interoperability and standardisation of recharging stations and services for electric vehicles through innovative standardisation solutions; and create a cost-effective network of charging points at strategic points and in highly-frequented areas that makes electric vehicles an efficient and convenient form of mobility both inside and outside of cities;
  • Encourage electric vehicle-sharing solutions and foster intermodality through the combined use of different modes of (electric) transport in cities;
  • Integrate the development of the market for electric vehicles within the broader smart grid environment, including smart charging, renewable electricity, and the use of electric vehicles, to enable more effective energy storage and peak demand management;
  • Electrify and upgrade rail services, especially regional connections, and support the development and market introduction of energy efficient solutions and new vehicle concepts for non-electrified lines.

The decarbonisation of transport through electro-mobility is a key component of delivering the Energy Union goals. The upcoming European communication on the decarbonisation of transport announced for early 2016 provides the ideal opportunity to make detailed proposals in the areas identified above to help deliver the Energy Union’s ambitions.

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