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
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.