Commission defines framework conditions for deploying ‘clean and energy efficient vehicles’efficient vehicles’

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The Communication on Clean and Energy Efficient Vehicles,  published  by  the  European  Commission  in  Brussels,
identifies  the essential framework conditions for a viable transition to
sustainable mobility in the European Union.

“We  support  the Commission in its goal to facilitate a rapid deployment
of  clean and energy efficient vehicles by embedding the innovative force
of  the  European  automobile  industry  in  a smart policy framework and
promoting  coordination  among  the  27  Member States. This is the right
approach  given  the  fact  that  major  competing economies, such as the
United  States,  Japan  and China, have already taken strategic action in
this field”, said Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of ACEA.

“The  Communication, however, also highlights the complexity of the tasks
ahead  and  the  many  stakeholders involved. Some actions can be started
immediately,  such  as agreeing on a European plug to recharge a vehicle.
Other  measures  need  still further, careful consideration. For example,
commercial transportation is very different from individual mobility, and
policies must be shaped accordingly.”

The  European  automobile manufacturers are contributing significantly to
the  transition  to  sustainable  mobility  in Europe and are maintaining
substantial   R&D  investments  despite  the  economic  crisis.  Advanced
conventional  technologies  as well as alternative fuels will continue to
play  a  predominant  role  for  decades  to come. At the same time, auto
manufacturers  invest  heavily  in bringing solutions to market that make
use  of  alternative  propulsion  technologies,  including plug-in hybrid
cars,  extended  range  vehicles  (including  fuel-cell  technology)  and
battery  electric vehicles. To deploy these many solutions, a coordinated
policy approach is key.

“A   viable   policy   framework   sets   feasible  objectives,  provides
predictability   to  industry,  enables  technological  progress  without
declaring  winners  or  losers,  and  assesses  the  impact of regulatory
measures  beforehand”, said Hodac. “Such a framework also provides timely
market  incentives  for  breakthrough  technologies  and supports further
investments  in  R&D  with  funding and access to capital. Investments in
renewable   energies   and   the   necessary  recharging  and  refuelling
infrastructure  are a further prerequisite and require the involvement of
many parties.”

The  auto  industry,  furthermore,  welcomes  the revival of ‘CARS21’, as
announced   in   today’s   Communication.  This  ‘Competitive  Automotive
Regulatory  System  for the 21st century’ initiative was launched in 2005
to  boost  Europe’s automotive competitiveness and employment base, while
advancing  safety  and  environmental  goals  in  a  viable  way. “CARS21
provides  an  important  platform to enhance policy making and share best
practices across the EU”, said Hodac.