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EU | Brussels

European Parliament adopts pragmatic position on Clean Vehicles Directive

26 Oct 2018

IRU welcomes the adoption of the European Parliament’s report on the revision of the Clean Vehicles Directive – a key piece of legislation that will help drive the uptake of more environmentally friendly vehicles in public procurement. 

The European Parliament’s report is taking the debate in the right direction by considering all alternative fuels in the definition of a ‘clean vehicle’. Aligning this legislation with alternative fuels infrastructure legislation is the best way to ensure a wider shift to alternative fuels. IRU also welcomes the European Parliament position to include retrofitted vehicles in the definition. 

However, IRU laments that there has been no clarification as to whether coaches are included in the scope or not.  Given the longer ranges of coaches and therefore their different technology needs, it is not feasible to include them within the scope of this Directive. 

It is also concerning that the energy source of electricity continues to be ignored and that electric vehicles are given extra recognition while they are not the silver bullet and are only part of the solution. Therefore IRU strongly welcomes the European Parliament’s addition that the European Commission should develop a well-to-wheel and lifecycle methodology for measuring emissions by 2022, with a review by 2027. 

By expanding the scope from purchase to hiring as well as all public service contracts, the European Commission’s proposed revision must ensure that private operators are not cut out of the picture. It is essential to make a link with mechanisms providing operators the means to invest in more expensive ‘clean’ vehicles and IRU is glad to see this debate being picked up in the European Parliament discussions. 

A positive addition is the push for the EU and for Member States to ensure adequate financing for the uptake of vehicles and for the development of alternative fuels infrastructure. 

As discussions continue in the Council, IRU calls on decision-makers to keep a technology neutral approach to shifting to cleaner vehicles ensuring that all alternative fuel options can play their part as well as an approach that is in line with economic viability and infrastructure development.