Support for European green targets

Residents and the auto industry support greener transport in Europe, amid calls for greater investment and EU backing.

Most residents of European cities are in favour of a Europe-wide phaseout of combustion-engine car sales from 2030, according to a poll carried out by Transport & Environment (T&E).  10,050 people took part in the survey with 63% in favour and an average of 29% opposing the idea of ending gasoline and diesel car sales, while 8% said they did not know.

"People in cities are the most exposed to toxic levels of air pollution, and they don't want internal combustion engines to be sold for any longer than is necessary," T&E's senior vehicles director Julia Poliscanova said.

While the EU automobile industry is in favour of higher CO2 reduction targets, President of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and CEO of BMW, Oliver Zipse said at a recent Board meeting, “Our industry’s huge investments in alternatively-powered vehicles are paying off. Indeed, last year nearly one in 10 cars registered in the EU was electrically chargeable. But this trend can only be sustained if governments start making matching investments in infrastructure.That is why any new 2030 CO2 targets for cars must be conditional on a corresponding infrastructure ramp-up.”

Meanwhile truck manufacturers and environmentalists are ambitiously pushing for the deployment of 11,000 charging points for electric trucks across the EU by 2025, rising to 42,000 by 2030. With almost no truck-specific charging stations in operation, this request comes ahead of the expected review of Europe’s Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) this year. A letter from ACEA and T&E urges the EU Commission to make AFID fit for zero-emission trucks and buses.

"Our industry is fully committed to the Green Deal and therefore carbon-neutral road freight transport by 2050 at the latest....we are investing massively in CO2-neutral trucks," said Marin Daum, ACEA Commercial Vehicle Board Chair and CEO of Daimler Truck AG.

“However, our customers will not invest in these vehicles unless they can charge and re-fuel them easily as they deliver goods from one country to another. The upcoming AFID review is a golden opportunity to make sure that infrastructure roll-out and the deployment of zero-emission vehicles go hand-in-hand.”