Comments Off on EP votes ICE-cars and vans out by 2035
In a plenary vote on 8 June, Members of the European Parliament adopted their position on proposed rules to revise the CO2 emissions performance standards for new cars and vans with 339 votes in favour, 249 against and 24 abstentions.
With the adopted text, which constitutes Parliament’s position to negotiate with member states, MEPs support the Commission proposal to reach zero-emission road mobility by 2035 (an EU fleet-wide target to reduce the emissions produced by new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 100% compared to 2021). Intermediate emissions reduction targets for 2030 would be set at 55% for cars and 50% for vans.
Additional details of Parliament’s proposed measures are available here.
Rapporteur Jan Huitema (Renew, NL) said: ‘An ambitious revision of CO2-standards is a crucial part of reaching our climate targets. With these standards, we are creating clarity for the car industry and can stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. In addition, purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers. I am thrilled that the European Parliament has backed an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and supported a 100% target for 2035, which is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050.’
MEPs are now ready to start negotiations with EU member states.
On 14 July 2021, as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the Commission presented a legislative proposal for a revision of the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The proposal aims to contribute to the EU 2030 and 2050 climate objectives, to deliver benefits to citizens by deploying zero-emission vehicles more broadly (better air quality, energy savings and lower costs for owning a vehicle), as well as to stimulate innovation in zero-emission technologies.
Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil were displaced each day in 2021 due to Electric Vehicle usage. This quantity is slated to grow as EV uptake and usage continue to rise.
These new, tangible effects of EV uptake are helping to challenge the opinion that such vehicles are a niche climate technology. Over the past 6 years, the amount of oil displaced by EVs has doubled. Download the full report by BloombergNEF, here.
A key fact from the report that will be especially interesting to LEVA-EU readers states, “Two- and three-wheeled EVs accounted for 67% of the oil demand avoided in 2021,” attributed to rapid adoption in Asia. It can be assumed that the majority of these vehicles would be classified as Light Electric Vehicles.
Two- and three-wheeled EVs were followed by buses, which displaced 16% of total oil, and passenger vehicles, the fastest-growing segment, which displaced 13%.
A Ugandan programme to reduce emissions and a Kenya-based electric vehicle-transition project are the recent winners of the prestigious International Transport Forum Decarbonising Transport Award.
With 64 member countries, The International Transport Forum (ITF) is an intergovernmental think tank for transport policies and is the only global body that covers all transport types. The ITF campaign aims to improve the lives of people by trend analysis and sharing knowledge to deeper understand the role of transport for economic and environmental gains. The ITF’s Annual Summit is the world’s largest gathering of transport ministers and is a platform for discussion and reform.
The innovation category of the International Transport Forum Decarbonising Transport Award went to Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives for its campaigning to reduce air pollution from vehicle emissions. The startup initiative is made up of 400 local mechanics who navigate Ugandan’s capital city, Kampala, to improve the environmental inconsistencies from the capital’s most polluting cars. Kampala regularly exceeded the WHO safety guidelines on air pollution by a staggering six-fold, so there was an urgency with the need to improve the air quality. The Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives searched for solutions to the emissions problems and produced data-driven reports that flagged the problem to the public to gain their support. The EUR 10,000 prize will be used on quantifying equipment to further educate the city’s residents and reduce emissions, and may also be utilised in a possible electric vehicle conversion programme.
The Wanyama Autosafety Initiative Executive Director accepted the award at the ITF Summit on “Transport for Inclusive Societies” in Leipzig, Germany on 20th May 2022, commenting that, “Our multi-faceted programme aims to address the devastating effects of air pollution in our largest city. Early results from this start-up venture clearly demonstrate that a community-based approach rooted in sound data analysis can result in better air quality and improved road safety. I hope the international recognition that comes with this prestigious award will lead to a change in policies and a cleaner, sustainable mobility future in Uganda and beyond.”
More information on Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives can be found here.
The research category of the ITF Decarbonising Transport Award went to the Transition To Electric Boda Boda in the Nairobi City County, Kenya project. Nairobi City County has a notable motorcycle taxi network but is often not considered for electric vehicle transitions. The research category winners will now be able to explore any policy, legal and institutional hindrances that prevent the Boda Boda motorcycle network from inclusion in transport electrification policies.
The EUR 5,000 prize will allow the campaigners to collect data and research legality and policies in order to progress towards achieving Kenya’s sustainability goals. The study will further identify any essential steps needed to convert Boda Boda’s power from internal combustion engines into electric batteries. This will maximise Kenya’s environmental decarbonisation and adhere to the county’s wonderful renewable energy source production.
Accepting the award, James Moronge, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi, commented: “Boda Boda taxis have attained a significant place in catering to people’s travel needs. They contribute significantly to load factor and vehicle kilometres travelled, as well as to emissions. It is important, therefore, that they be adapted to lower-emission energy sources, including battery-powered technology. I’m delighted that the relevance of this research is recognised at the International Transport Forum’s Summit, and I hope that ITF’s global reach will help us to share the insights of our work with other countries.”
ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim said: “We cannot achieve our climate goals without decarbonising transport. Emerging economies with growing demand for mobility face particular challenges. I am deeply impressed by the level of innovation and commitment to transport decarbonisation reflected in applications for ITF’s new Decarbonising Transport Award. I am delighted that the ITF can support these carbon-neutral transport solutions through funding and support for research, outreach and dissemination. I hope that the award winners will greatly benefit from the visibility of the award and that we will continue to collaborate on our shared climate goals.”
The ITF Decarbonising Transport Award recognises projects with great potential to aid in decarbonising transport in emerging economies. 37 applications, primarily from African, Latin American and Asian countries, were assessed by an internal and external jury representing a diverse set of countries and profiles. The two winning entries were selected from a total of seven finalists. More information can be found here.
Comments Off on LEVA-EU & DLR present LEV4Climate to EU Commission
On Thursday 12 May, DLR and LEVA-EU were invited to contribute to a Sustainability Talk of the European Commission’s DG Innovation and Research. The theme of the talk was: “Deeply transforming mobility systems and cities – The case of light electric vehicles” The hybrid event attracted more than 50 Commission officials from a variety of DGs.
On behalf of DLR, Mascha Brost presented the study*, commissioned by LEVA-EU, on the potential of LEVs in tackling climate change by reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). Annick Roetynck outlined the European LEV framework and made the direct link to current policy. Among other things, she called for better LEV regulations. She argued: “To achieve increased uptake and use of LEVs to substitute the use of large, heavy vehicles, the EU must identify and remove legal bottlenecks hampering technological and market development of LEVs without any further delay. Furthermore, in policies developed at all levels of government, LEVs should be dealt with as a separate vehicle category, which requires its own specific rules.”
The relevance of LEVs in tackling climate was made even clearer by Anastasios Kentarchos, Advisor Climate Science and Innoviation at DG R&I. He responded to the LEV study from a climate science perspective, by linking to the recent IPCC report that states that the current pledges will not be sufficient to limit warming to 2°. “As a result, every solution counts”, Mr Kentarchos concluded.
Laure Ledoux, Head of Unit Greening, Safety & Buildings at DG HR, explained the Commission’s plans to be climate neutral by 2030 by reducing GHG emissions by 60%. One of the main focusses is mobility, more specifically commuting, for which the objective is to reduce GHG emissions by 45%. She announced a new mobility plan by the end of this year, which will hold incentives for all means of transport.
At the end of the meeting, Thomas Arnold, Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals at DG R&I formulated 3 main conclusions. Firstly, systemic changes are necessary to encourage climate change mitigation. Secondly, Commission officials should look into what support they can get from their employer to make their mobility more sustainable. Thirdly, the electrification of mobility is currently focused on heavy vehicles, while much lighter vehicles appear to be available. The effects of electrification in combination with a significant weight reduction needs to be further investigated.
* The DLR LEV4Climate Study, was commissioned by LEVA-EU and is supported by Fairlybike, Microlino, Podbike and Superpedestrian. Further sponsoring of LEVA-EU’s efforts to raise awareness on the emission saving potential of Light Electric Vehicles is still welcome. Please contact Eddie Eccleston for futher details: email@example.com, tel. +32 472 32 9770.
Comments Off on European Commission announces 100 cities participating in EU Mission for climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030
The European Commission today announced the 100 EU cities that will participate in the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, the so-called Cities Mission. The 100 cities come from all 27 Member States, with 12 additional cities coming from countries associated with, or with the potential of being associated with, Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme (2021-2027).
Our urban areas are home to 75% of EU citizens. Globally, urban areas consume over 65% of the world’s energy, accounting for more than 70% of CO2 emissions. It is therefore important that cities act as experimentation and innovation ecosystems to help all others in their transition to becoming climate-neutral by 2050.
Ursula von der Leyen,President of the Commission, said: “The green transition is making its way all over Europe right now. But there’s always a need for trailblazers, who set themselves even higher goals. These cities are showing us the way to a healthier future. We will support them on this! Let’s begin the work today.”
The Cities Mission will receive €360 million of Horizon Europe funding covering the period 2022-23, to start the innovation paths towards climate neutrality by 2030. The research and innovation actions will address clean mobility, energy efficiency and green urban planning, and offer the possibility to build joint initiatives and ramp up collaborations in synergies with other EU programmes.
Benefits for cities include tailor-made advice and assistance from a dedicated Mission Platform run by NetZeroCities, additional funding and financing opportunities and the possibility to join large innovation actions and pilot projects. The Mission also provides networking opportunities, exchange of best practices between cities and support to engage citizens in the mission.
The Commission will invite the 100 selected cities to develop Climate City Contracts, which will include an overall plan for climate neutrality across all sectors such as energy, buildings, waste management and transport, together with related investment plans. This process will involve citizens, research organisations and the private sector. The clear and visible commitments made by the cities in the Climate City Contracts will enable them to engage with the EU, national and regional authorities – and most importantly with their own citizens to deliver on this ambitious objective.
Moreover, in light of the overwhelming interest from 377 cities to join the mission, the Commission is also putting in place support for cities that were not selected, including support through the Mission Platform and funding opportunities under the Cities Mission Work Programme of Horizon Europe.
Members of the College said:
Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, for the European Green Deal,said: “Cities are at the forefront of the fight against the climate crisis. Whether it’s greening urban spaces, tackling air pollution, reducing energy consumption in buildings, or advancing clean mobility solutions: cities are often the hub of the changes Europe needs to succeed in our transition to climate neutrality. My congratulations to the cities selected today, I look forward to the solutions you will develop to guide your inhabitants and businesses towards a greener future.”
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age,said: “We need to speed up Europe’s transition to climate neutrality, to end our reliance on fossil fuels, and to deliver benefits such as cleaner air and lower energy bills for our citizens. It is great that so many cities will participate. We can support their ambition with our EU research and innovation budget. The Cities Mission has the potential to make a major contribution to our Green Deal and for Europe to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050.”
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Horizon Europe Missions have a great potential to deliver the European Green Deal objectives, including European energy security. The selected cities represent a first step in covering a wide geographical footprint. We want concrete benefits to reach all our regions and citizens, through innovation, empowering large and small cities with different levels of experience and capacities. I encourage all cities to reach out and work with all stakeholders, including of course their citizens, to achieve together our ambitious goals.”
Adina Vălean, Commissioner for transport, said: “In their quest to become smart and climate-neutral by 2030, the 100 EU cities announced today will be natural “test beds” for innovative integrated solutions to many of the issues facing our citizens today, including urban mobility. Drawing on our New Urban Mobility Framework, they have the tools to make interurban and urban mobility healthy and sustainable, for instance by doubling high-speed rail traffic and developing extra cycling infrastructure over the next 10 years, investing in safe bike lanes, and ensuring connectivity with rural and suburban areas so that commuters are given sustainable mobility options. I am sure they will succeed, and I encourage other cities across Europe to follow their lead.”
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries said: “The Mission for climate-neutral and smart cities will help us deliver our environmental commitments on zero pollution, biodiversity and circular economy. Many of the selected cities have already shown their environmental credentials in our Green Capital, Green Leaf and Green City Accord initiatives by tackling air, noise and waste issues. These cities’ ambitions for climate and innovation, as well as the Mission’s wider research funding, will help make urban living greener, cleaner and healthier for European citizens.”
Cities were invited to express their interest to become part of the Mission in November 2021. The call closed on 31 January 2022. In a first step, independent experts evaluated each expression of interest. In a second step, the Commission applied additional criteria to ensure a geographical balance and a diverse group of cities in terms of size, impact and innovative ideas. Overall, 377 cities applied to be part of the cities mission. The 100 EU Cities chosen today represent 12% of the EU population.
The Commission launched the Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 in September 2021 with the adoption of a Communication on EU missions. This following the approval of the missions’ individual implementation plans in summer 2021. As well as the Cities Mission, there are four other EU missions covering global challenges in the areas of adaptation to climate change, restoring our ocean and waters, healthy soils and cancer. A dedicated Work Programme for Horizon Europe Missions was published on 15 December 2021.
Comments Off on 44% = 57 million tonnes CO2 eq per year
Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) are key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the fight against climate change. That is the conclusion of the very first study on how the use of LEVs can contribute to Climate Protection. The report, “The Potential of Light Electric Vehicles for Climate Protection Through Substitution for Passenger Car Trips – Germany as a case Study,” by the authoritative German Aerospace Center (DLR), was presented on March 24 at the conference: The Future is Electric and Light!, held in Brussels and on-line, attended by policymakers at EU, city and local level and by the scientific community.
The DLR-study models a scenario for Germany in 2030 in which a major modal shift, away from full-sized cars to LEVs, has taken place. For the model, DLR has used 9 different LEV-types, i.e. e-scooter, e-cycle, e-cycle+ (allowing for cargo), speed pedelec, moped, motorcycle, microcars 45, 90 and 125 km/h. The analysis was done with vehicles available on the market, announced for sale in 2022 or tested in pilot projects. For the model, DLR used statistical data from the German 2017-survey “Mobilität in Deutschland“.
For each substitutable car trip, DLR chose the lightest LEV that could replace the car, considering a variety of factors such as luggage, passengers, trip length etc. Of all car trips in the survey, 97% were less than 100 km, with 80% under 20 km! The calculation of the overall CO2eq emission saving per trip was aggregated for all trips and scaled up to a period of one year for Germany. With this model, DLR found the following.
76%, which is more than ¾ of all car trips could be substituted by LEV-trips;
50% of all car kilometres could be substituted by LEV kilometres;
Each substituted trip would avoid on average 88% of GHG emissions from the substituted vehicle;
That substitution would result in a reduction of 57 million tonnes of CO2eq per year;
In absolute terms, the substitution would save 44% of GHG emissions;
Vehicle battery size and capacity are the decisive factors for overall GHG emissions from electric vehicles.
The study alos found that LEVs offer considerable advantages beyond reducing emissions such as improving public health through cleaner air, less noise and improved road safety as well as improving overall quality of life.
The DLR-study was discussed by two panels at The Future is Light and Electric! event, which featured an impressive line-up. MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu was one of the participants in the political discussion in the morning. He is the EPP coordinator in TRAN and also a substitute on ENVI and ITRE. He was joined by 2 Commission representatives: Zlatko Kregar, Policy Officer at the Unit Sustainable and Intelligent Transport, DG Move and Michael Kyriakopoulos, Senior Expert Low Emission Future Industries, DG Research and Innovation. Lucas Demuelenaere represented Alain Maron, the Brussels Minister of Climate, Energy and Environment.
The scientific panel in the afternoon included a figure head of LEV-research. Chris Cherry is Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee. He has done a great deal of research into and published on light electric vehicles. He stated: “Simply switching fossil-powered cars with electric cars will not do enough, fast enough, to reach our climate targets. This report, using real-world behaviour data, shows that LEVs can be an important and readily available way to fast-track climate mitigating technology into the transportation sector for many of society’s trips, which can result in large short-term reductions in emissions.”
“With the energy it takes to go and get a loaf of bread from the bakery in an electric car, one can go to the same bakery 100 times in a light, electric vehicle,” said Jan Cappelle, Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering Technology, KU Leuven, commenting on the findings. Laura Po, Associate Professor, “Enzo Ferrari” Engineering Department, UNIMORE, Modena, Italy, speaking at the event welcomed the research as “an exemplar study conducted in Germany that should be reproduced by all other member states. What we need now is customer acceptance and political regulation.” she added.
“Switching our car system to electric cannot reduce carbon emissions fast enough and does not make mobility more just – research and policy need to focus on micromobility and other light electric vehicles and their role in creating more sustainable and just mobility futures, not just in the West, but also globally. The LEV report provides important insights for this necessary transition,” said Dr Frauke Behrendt, Associate Professor in Transitions to Sustainable Mobility at the Technology, Innovation and Society Group at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Germany.
Outside the event venue, just around the corner of the European Parliament, a number of vehicles, among which the Microlino, the eFlow and Podbike, were shown to the participants and the press. Furthermore, Commission officials and MEPs were invited to take a look at the vehicles and to take a short test ride during the day.
The Future is Electric and Light! is the start of long-term advocacy initiative by LEVA-EU to encourage and further scientific research into LEVs and their integration in EU policies such as the Green Deal, Fit for 55 and the New Urban Mobility Framework.
“The study shows that the European Union is making a mistake in ignoring light, electric vehicles. Sustainable mobility and mitigating climate change cannot be achieved by electrifying vehicles only. The vehicles also need to become much lighter,” said Annick Roetynck, Manager of LEVA-EU, the European trade-association for Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) businesses who commissioned the research.
“Legal bottlenecks, particularly in technical legislation are very seriously hampering the technological and market development of LEVs. The results of the DLR-study should convince the Commission to prioritise those issues,” she added.
Outside the Renaissance, a number of vehicles, among which the eFlow speed pedelec, the Microlino microcar and the Podbike, were shown to the participants and the press. Furthermore, Commission officials and MEPs were invited to take a look at the vehicles and to take a short test ride during the day.
The Future is Electric and Light! is the start of long-term advocacy initiative by LEVA-EU to encourage and further scientific research into LEVs and their integration in EU policies such as the Green Deal, Fit for 55 and the New Urban Mobility Framework.
Comments Off on DLR to reveal how much exactly LEVs can contribute to fight against climate change
At The Future is Electric and Light!, a political and a scientific panel will respectively discuss the results of the long awaited DLR study on the potential of LEVs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report is now ready and shows that LEVs can effectively make a huge contribution, but exactly how much will not be revealed until 24 March.
The panel discussions at The Future is Light and Electric! event feature an impressive line-up. MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu is one of the participants in the political discussion in the morning. He is the EPP coordinator in TRAN and also a substitute on ENVI and ITRE. He is a very active MEP who, in December 2020, received the Transport & Tourism award at The Parliament Magazine’s annual MEP Award.
In the afternoon, the scientific panel will include a figure head of LEV-research. Chris Cherry is Associate Department Head of Undergraduate Studies and Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee. He has done a great deal of research into and published on light electric vehicles. He is also a founder of the LEVER Institute. This is a consortium of researchers tackling important research questions about the role of Light Electric Vehicles in the transport system. He will be discussing the DLR-report with a host of reputed colleagues among whom Prof. Cappelle (KU Leuven), the figurehead of speed pedelec research in Belgium. Other confirmed panellists are Prof. Frauke Behrendt (TU/e), Prof. Laura Po (Unimore) and Aslak Fyhri (TOI).
The event is hybrid, i.e. online and live in the Renaissance in Brussels, which is just around the corner of the European Parliament. Outside the Renaissance, a number of vehicles, among which Microlino and Podbike, will be shown to the participants and the press. Furthermore, Commission officials and MEPs will be invited to take a look at the vehicles and, perhaps, even to take a short test ride during the day.
The Future is Electric and Light! is only the start of long-term advocacy initiative by LEVA-EU to encourage and further scientific research into LEVs. LEV-research will considerably strengthen LEVA-EU’s plea and efforts for much more attention for LEVs in EU policies such as the Green Deal, Fit for 55 and the New Urban Mobility Framework. At the event of 24 March, LEVA-EU will also explain the further plans in this regard.
Comments Off on GHG emissions from transport in EU: decrease lags behind
Source EEA – Greenhouse gas emissions from the EU’s transport sector increased steadily between 2013 and 2019, a trend that diverges significantly from those in other sectors during that period. Preliminary estimates for 2020 indicate a substantial drop in transport emissions, due to decreased activity during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that transport emissions will rebound after 2020. National projections compiled by the EEA indicate that even with measures currently planned in the Member States, domestic transport emissions will only drop below their 1990 level in 2029.
The EU’s domestic transport emissions increased by 0.8% between 2018 and 2019. According to preliminary estimates, they dropped by 12.7% in 2020, because of the drastic decrease in transport activity during the Covid-19 pandemic. For comparison, in the years following the economic crisis a decade ago, emissions decreased by 1-3% per year.
National projections indicate that Member States expect a significant rebound in transport emissions after 2020. Without the implementation of additional measures, an increase could be observed until 2025, and the reduction expected thereafter would still leave transport emissions in 2030 around 10% above 1990 levels. If Member States implement the additional measures planned to reduce transport emissions, these would peak in 2022 and be reduced thereafter. 2030 emissions would then reach a level 6% below 1990 levels. Most planned policies and measures in the transport sector focus on promoting low-carbon fuels or electric cars, as well as encouraging a modal shift to public transport.
Road transport constitutes the highest proportion of overall transport emissions (in 2019 it emitted 72% of all domestic and international transport GHG). As a majority of existing and planned measures in the Member States focus on road transport, this share is expected to decrease as road transport decarbonises faster than other transport modes.
Comments Off on Climate Change PIX winners selected
Winning captures of the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) ‘Climate Change PIX’ photo competition show how climate change is already affecting Europe but also how well-known solutions can make a difference.
Winner – Societal solutions for climate change
‘Sustainable city’, by Antonio Farto, reminds of the importance of making cities more sustainable with green areas and possibilities for cycling and walking.