The future of European Transport is Smart and Clean - #itsElectric!

18 September 2017

In the context of the European Mobility Week, EURELECTRIC launched two papers today in which it outlines its views on the role of smart charging in unlocking the potential of electrification in transport, and highlights the potential of electrification of heavy duty vehicles (HDVs).

Whereas until now, electrification has been considered as a solution for light road transport, we are now seeing that electricity can also provide the solution for heavy duty transport in the future.

With trucks, buses and coaches representing less than 5% of road vehicles in the EU, but producing about 25% of its road transport CO2 emissions, we expect the Commission to propose emission standards for heavy road vehicles in early 2018. The electrification of heavy duty transport can play a key role in reducing emissions from these vehicles and we are already seeing several major companies positioning themselves to provide the technological solutions for this.

“We expect the Commission to recognise the important role that electricity will play in Europe’s future transport system,” said EURELECTRIC Secretary General, Kristian Ruby. “We need strict CO2 emission standards for cars and vans, as well as separate targets for the take up of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). We also call for action to ensure that sufficient charging infrastructure is in place across Europe, as well as incentives and measures to tap into the vast potential of smart charging.”

As the take-up of electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe speeds up significantly, smart charging can allow peak load to remain stable even in a 100% electrification of cars scenario, limiting the additional investment needed for EV integration.

Capitalising on the value of electricity will be crucial to decarbonising the transport sector. With 56% of Europe’s electricity generation already carbon free, average CO2 emissions from running an electric car are around 50g per kilometre in a well-to-wheel perspective. This is already well below the existing EU target of 95g by 2021 for new passenger cars. This trend is set to continue as electricity generation further decarbonises under the ETS cap.

The value of electricity goes beyond decarbonisation. Electricity in transport will also reduce air pollution in cities. It will strengthen security of supply and help empower Europe’s energy customers. Last, but not least, it is a key prerequisite for the digital transformation, that is needed to ensure future industrial competitiveness for Europe.

This week EURELECTRIC also dedicates its next event in its “Power Talks” series to the topic of Clean & Smart Transport: #itsElectric, on 21 September. The event will consider several key questions that need to be considered in the upcoming revision of Europe’s transport legislation.  What are the key measures required to support the development and deployment of electromobility and associated smart infrastructure? Will increasingly ambitious CO2 standards be sufficient to drive decarbonisation of the transport sector? How can EV batteries be properly recognised as important tools to support higher penetration of renewables and increase the reliability of electricity supply?

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