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Commission defines framework conditions for deploying 'clean and energy efficient vehicles'

28 April 2010
by ACEA -- last modified 29 April 2010

The Communication on Clean and Energy Efficient Vehicles, published today 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.

The European automotive industry is key to the strength and competitiveness of Europe. The ACEA members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT Group, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen and Volvo. They provide direct employment to more than 2.3 million people and indirectly support another 10 million jobs. Annually, ACEA members invest over €26 billion in R&D, or 5% of turnover.

European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)