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Transport Policy Outlook: 31 October 2022

Transport Policy Outlook: 31 October 2022

Internal Combustion Engine vehicles reach the end of the road

The European Union has agreed the date when a ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will come into force. The agreement, the first set of rules to be agreed as part of the “Fit for 55” package, sees the introduction of a deadline of 2035 for zero-emission road mobility (an EU fleet-wide target to reduce the CO2 emissions produced by new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 100% compared to 2021).

The Commission will also publish a report by the end of 2025, and every two years thereafter, to evaluate progress towards zero-emission road mobility. The report will cover the impact on consumers and employment, the progress in energy efficiency and affordability of zero- and low- emission vehicles as well as information on the market for second-hand vehicles.

The Parliament Rapporteur, Jan Huitema (Renew, NL), said:

“With these targets, we create clarity for the car industry and stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. In addition, purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers. I am pleased that today we reached an agreement with the Council on an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and supported a 100% target for 2035. This is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and make clean driving more affordable.”

Parliament and Council will have to formally approve the agreement before it can come into force.


Discussion on the use of Traffic Data builds

The European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) voted on new Intelligent Road Transport Systems (2021/0419 (COD)) rules to boost digitalisation in the transport sector, to better connect mobility apps, and to ensure wider data sharing.

MEPs want the deployment of intelligent transport systems (ITS) to be technologically neutral, not to discriminate against particular road users, and to provide consumers with the environmental impact of mobility options.

The TRAN Committee urged EU Member States to better cooperate when deploying ITS services, through the sharing of best practices and joint projects.

Speaking at the Committee, the rapporteur for the file, Rovana Plumb (S&D, RO) said:

“Intelligent Transport Systems will save lives, so we need to ensure they are technology neutral, compatible and interoperable with other applications. We should also avoid discrimination in access to ITS applications and services, keeping in mind the needs of vulnerable users.”

The draft negotiating mandate will now go to the plenary session of Parliament for adoption, the final will then form the basis of the Parliament’s position for negotiations with the Council.

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Transport innovation opens up new possibilities

What if the transport option for a journey that was the most environmentally sustainable, the quickest, and competitively priced, was to fly?

United Airlines, the third-biggest U.S. air carrier, expects electric planes to become available in the market in 2028 and to cost less than traditional jet engines for regional travel. Their goal is to get passengers who now drive a 250-mile trip to fly instead, including business travellers.

It’s a fascinating idea and goes against the current trend of calling for an end to short haul flights in favour of rail or road transport, a position which is challenged if the airplane is more environmentally friendly than the train or car option.

With the emergence of sustainable aviation technologies, especially for regional aviation, such as hydrogen and electric — new opportunities emerge for the aviation industry, and new life potentially for regional airports. And the cities they serve.

It’s a fascinating idea and forces us to think a bit more expansively about how changes in transport may open new markets and opportunities, and change how our societies use these technologies.

In a related development, a nine seater electric aircraft recently completed a test flight in the US. The battery powered aircraft are far from being able to replace large aircraft serving long haul routes. They can serve city-to-city routes of several hundred kilometres.

The technology is not just for carrying people. Last year, DHL became Eviation’s first cargo customer when it forged an agreement to take a dozen of the cargo version planes.

Some countries are pushing for battery-powered electric aircraft, notably Norway, which has previously said all its short-haul flights will be carried out by electric aircraft by 2040.

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Aviation industry investing in SAF, while EU institutions discuss the mandate

The industry are not waiting for the EU institutions to conclude their negotiations on the mandate for use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

Finnish company Neste (the world’s largest producer of SAF), have been busy securing deals to provide SAF to major companies in the aviation industry including aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce.

Air France-KLM also signed two new multi-year agreements to purchase sustainable aviation fuel. The deal with producer Neste for 1 million tons to be delivered between 2023 and 2030 extends the companies’ partnership, which began “several years” ago, according to Neste, with KLM one of the first airlines to use the producer’s SAF.

A second deal is for 600,000 metric tons from DG Fuels to be delivered from 2027 to 2036 from a plant to be located in Louisiana.

Air France-KLM has set a SAF target of 10 percent of its fuel by 2030.

Neste currently boasts a renewable products global production capacity of 3.3 million tons per year. But this is just the beginning; the company plans to increase the total production capacity of renewable products to 5.5 million tons by the end of 2023 and to 6.8 million tons by the end of 2026.

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For more information on these developments or any other transport and mobility policy topic please don’t hesitate to contact us directly using the form below


Chris Mehigan

I am the Partner of Penta’s Transport and Mobility practice and have 15 years’ experience working in public affairs. I focus primarily on transport policy at the EU level. I specialise in dealing with heavily regulated sectors and helping our clients to develop and maintain networks with senior figures in the European Institutions. I am also a Certified Data Privacy Practitioner and provide advice on GDPR concerns.
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