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European Law Monitor newsCommission to promote clean and energy efficient vehicles

The European Commission has adopted a proposal that aims to reduce fuel consumption as well as CO2 and pollutant emissions from road vehicles. A substantial reduction may be achieved by public authorities procuring clean and energy efficient vehicles for public transport services and introducing them into their fleet. Citizens living in urban areas will be the major beneficiaries of these measures.

"The growing efforts of public authorities to promote clean and energy efficient vehicles need to be supported at European level by guaranteeing manufacturers the same market rules all over the European Union", said Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot in charge of transport.

The proposed Directive introduces environmental aspects into public procurement of vehicles and transport services. It covers vehicles procured by public authorities and by operators providing public transport services. When procuring vehicles, public authorities will use lifetime costs for CO2 and pollutant emissions as well as for fuel consumption as award criteria. The application of these criteria will first be optional, then mandatory from 2012.

Public procurement represents a key and visible market. The Directive therefore is expected, over the long term, to boost the use of clean and energy efficient vehicles and to reduce their costs through economies of scale. This will also improve energy efficiency and the reduction of CO2 and pollutant emissions from the whole vehicle fleet in Europe.

The proposal revises a previous Directive from December 2005 on the promotion of clean vehicles. The revised text covers not only the reduction of pollutant emissions but also CO2 reduction and improvement of energy efficiency. It focuses not only on heavy duty vehicles but applies to all vehicle categories.
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