Reaction Paper on the Clean Vehicles Directive recast

Authors: Platform for Electro-Mobility

Publisher: Bellona Europa

The Platform for Electro-Mobility, of which Bellona is a founding member, welcomes the European Commission (EC) proposal to amend Directive 2009/33/EU on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road vehicles in public procurement (or so-called Clean Vehicles Directive), and considers it holds potential to set the transport sector on a course to swift decarbonisation and improved air quality in urban centres.

Road transport today accounts for over a quarter of the total EU CO2 emissions, and represents the only sector whose emissions are still on the rise. Beyond greenhouse gas emissions, local air pollution is also a major human health concern, with up to 30% of Europeans living in cities exposed to air pollutant levels exceeding EU air quality standards. The European Environment Agency recently published a study showing that close to 400.000 premature deaths were occurring in Europe every year due to air pollution. Conventionally fuelled road transport is the largest source of NOx (46% of total EU emissions) and particulate matter.

Noise impact is also a growing public health concern. According to the European Environment Agency, exposure to environmental noise contributes to at least 900.000 additional cases of hypertension, 43.000 additional hospital admissions and to 10.000 premature deaths, each year. Almost 90% of the health impact caused by noise exposure is associated with road traffic noise. In economic terms, noise from road and rail traffic is estimated to cost the EU €40 billion per year.

Policy action is needed, and the Clean Vehicles Directive (CVD) could have positive effects on climate, health, and European industry competitiveness, if ambitions were set high enough. Against that background, the Platform for Electro-Mobility encourages the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to build upon the proposal of the European Commission and deliver a bolder text with higher targets and a broader scope, while ensuring that this does not lead to a reduction of the level and quality of public transport services.

Moreover, because vehicles are one part of the whole transport system, the Platform for Electro-Mobility calls for complementary measures and the adaption of existing regulation to support the deployment of an adequate recharging infrastructure and accelerate electrification of transport.

This paper shares the platform’s views on the recast of the CVD, and goes on to provide policy recommendations for its improvement.

The Electro-Mobility Platform unites 31 organisations from across civil society, industries, and transport modes in their commitment to accelerate electro-mobility uptake across Europe.

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