Automobile industry reacts to EU mobility package

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes today’s publication by the European Commission of its ‘Europe on the Move’ initiatives for clean, competitive and connected mobility. This communication recognises that road transport is the number one mode of transport in the EU. It also underlines once again the importance of the sector to jobs, growth and global competitiveness – key factors that should be taken into account when proposing future measures.

An important component of this agenda is reducing transport-related greenhouse gas emissions. Further reductions of CO2 from cars and vans beyond 2020 will be strongly dependent on increased sales of alternatively-powered vehicles. However, this will only be achievable with a higher level of investments in recharging and refuelling infrastructure. The Directive on Alternative Fuel Infrastructure has already set clear objectives for member states’ deployment of the relevant charging infrastructure, but unfortunately its implementation to date has been poor. ACEA therefore strongly supports the Commission’s intention to publish a much-needed European Action Plan on alternative fuels infrastructure, which will address market failures, propose follow-up actions and strategic recommendations, and create a new funding package.

ACEA also favours the possibility of differentiating road charging tolls for heavy-goods vehicles according to CO2 emission values, provided such differentiation is constructed to promote low emissions in real conditions of use and provides fair competition between vehicle segments. Any road charges that do not consider the real emissions of the complete heavy-goods vehicle combination (including tyres, weight and aerodynamics) would sub-optimise the fleet. However, ACEA members do not support the phasing out of the differentiation according to Euro emission-classes. Such differentiation is still very much required in order to speed up the renewal of the existing fleet. This is crucial, as by 2020 it is expected that only 18% of all heavy-duty vehicles registered in the EU will be Euro VI vehicles. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, ACEA believes that passenger cars should remain excluded from the scope of application of the proposal.

Regarding the vehicle access restrictions being introduced or considered in some cities, ACEA welcomes the Commission’s intention to provide guidance for cities on the access of vehicles to urban areas. Measures should ensure maximum harmonisation, simplicity, stability, integration and acceptability. They must be based on objective and fair criteria. In line with the principle of technological neutrality, compliance with the existing Euro emission standards should be the only criteria for access restrictions. This non-discriminatory approach ensures that investments made by consumers and operators are safeguarded.

Finally, the Commission recognises the importance of addressing the remaining regulatory obstacles to connected and automated driving. This is valued by the industry, as digitalisation has a strong potential to contribute to further CO2 reductions.

ACEA looks forward to working with all the relevant stakeholders to ensure a proper implementation of this agenda on the future of mobility in the EU.

Source: ACEA – GAI