14 July 2021
Today the European Commission has revealed its Fit for 55 package, which aims to set the European economy on course towards a 55% carbon emissions reduction by 2030.
Tackling the emissions from transport, which account for a quarter of all EU emissions, is vital to obtain this goal. The most convenient and realistic way to do so for road transport is to ensure a smooth transition to electromobility, and to support the mass uptake of electric vehicles by consumers.
AVERE recognises and welcomes the fact that significant proposals for concrete steps forward in the road transport sector have been made. However, it also believes there remains scope for improvements in some policy proposals that, if addressed, could speed up and smoothen the transition.
Philippe Vangeel, Secretary General of AVERE stated: “The new Fit for 55 package revealed today contains significant steps towards making Europe the global leader in electromobility, notably by accelerating the roll-out of charging infrastructure and setting a phase-out for fossil fuel vehicles. We’ll be now looking into ways to strengthen the proposed policies further, to ensure we can reach the crucial goal of carbon neutral transport by 2050“
- The Future of Infrastructure for Charging in Europe
AVERE applauds the fact that what was previously the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive is now reconfigured as a regulation. This is a very positive outcome that AVERE, together with other associations, had recently called for. The conversion to a regulation ensures swift and direct implementation, supporting coherent and interoperable network for private and professional users in line with the electric vehicle market’s growth.
The new regulation features binding targets for the roll-out of charging infrastructure, including for heavy-duty vehicles, with the goal of supporting adequately the e-mobility market’s continued growth. Whilst requirements may need some further differentiation, AVERE acknowledges this is a key step forward and looks forward to its implementation. It will now be crucial to enable the required rollout by charging operators, for example by addressing administrative hurdles at the national level.
AVERE also looks forward to the reinforced focus on transparency and interoperability for consumers under the new proposal. Making sure users are well informed and able to conveniently use charging stations across the continent will be key to ensuring the acceptance of electric mobility in Europe.
The regulation contains a variety of items that require clarification and deeper scrutiny before their impact is understood – notably on payment options and plug-and-charge – so AVERE will keep investigating the details and provide further evaluations as the policy debate unfolds further.
- Phasing Out Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles
AVERE is pleased to see that a phase-out date for Internal Combustion Engine passenger vehicles has been set for 2035 through the revised regulation setting CO2 emission standards for cars and vans. A clear phase-out date will provide clarity to industry and consumers for the transition ahead, and ensure the EU stays at the forefront of global market uptake for electric vehicles. AVERE will continue to advocate for bringing the phase-out date forward to 2030.
However, a major opportunity has been missed in not providing additional interim targets for 2027. Allowing manufacturers to delay the decarbonisation of their fleet until the very last minute will stall progress throughout most of the coming decade, and lead to major GHG emissions that could have easily been avoided by providing a continuous reduction path between now and 2030.
Unfortunately, the regulation also still maintains incentives for hybrid and other so-called “low-emission” vehicles up to the year 2030. While the eventual removal of these incentives is welcome, AVERE believes that a clear focus on the fully decarbonised technologies that are already available on the market is needed as of today. Supporting unnecessary transition technologies with unclear real-world climate benefits only risks delaying the full decarbonisation of transport.
- ETS and Road Transport
AVERE continues to oppose the extension of emissions trading to road transport.
We do not believe that emissions trading is the best option to accelerate the transition towards zero-emission mobility, and it carries the danger of resulting in undesirable social consequences – even if accompanied by the EU’s new Social Climate Fund, the functioning of which is yet to be proven in practice.
Emissions trading adds new costs on citizens for transport, but provides insufficient incentives to switch to fossil-free transport solutions. Its price signal is too low to be impactful, given that the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle is already lower than the cost for a fossil-fuel vehicle. Lower-income households, who will feel the effect of moderately increased fuel prices the most in their wallet, also happen to be those least able to effortlessly switch to cleaner alternatives, especially in the absence of a fully developed market for second-hand EVs.
For these reasons, AVERE believes a more effective alternative is relying on a strengthened regulation on CO2 emission performance standards, which have proven to be an effective driver for its gradual decarbonisation.
- Electromobility Supported by Renewables
AVERE welcomes the newly introduced obligation for Member States to establish a fuel-neutral credit trading mechanism under the revised Renewable Energy Directive. As unlike biofuels, electricity cannot be blended with conventional fuels, this instrument will be necessary to allow electricity to compete on the market with biofuels, reflecting the clear trend towards the electrification of road transport.
However, AVERE is concerned about the removal of multipliers when evaluating the achievement of the use of renewable in transport. Eliminating multipliers may decrease the use of renewable electricity in transport, and increase the use of crop-based biofuels. The new proposed architecture relying on emissions savings, rather than energy targets, must be able to guarantee the same level playing field for renewable electricity in transport that multipliers would have assured
AVERE (The European Association for Electromobility) is the European association that promotes electromobility and sustainable transport across Europe.
Our Members consist of National Associations supporting and encouraging the use of Electric Vehicles and electromobility across Europe. We currently have active members in 19 European countries, notably some of the most successful EV countries like Norway, France, The Netherlands and Belgium.
Within these Associations, there are close to 2.300 members, ranging from SME’s, OEM’s, and other companies with a commercial interest in electromobility
You can download the factsheet for the AVERE’s Vision for 2050 here: https://www.avere.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/AVERE_VISION-FOR-2050_factsheet-V032021.pdf
AVERE – Communication Manager
T: 0032 491 55 31 53