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Achieving low emission mobility targets (Communication)

EESC opinion: Achieving low emission mobility targets (Communication)

Key points

The EESC considers that the strong position of the European industry must be maintained and used to accelerate, transform and consolidate the EU economy's clean energy transition, with the important goal of achieving leadership in new technologies on the world market.

The Committee welcomes the general technology-neutral approach, notes, however, that it is far from sure that our future mobility will be all-electric, and other propulsion technologies, such as hydrogen or completely fossil-free liquid fuels, also provide big potential for clean mobility.

The EESC welcomes the initiatives intended to restore consumer confidence in the automotive industry and the regulatory system by means of realistic emission standards and new test procedures.

The EESC draws attention to the fact that the build-up of a significant share of low-emission vehicles requires a transition time, the duration of which depends on the developments made by the automotive industry, how quickly customers accept the new technology, the costs involved, as well as other factors such as charging infrastructure.

The EESC asks the European Commission to make a better and clear distinction between climate protection and improved local air quality. Certain types of fuels may help to improve the air quality in cities but are not beneficial for the climate – when the electricity or the hydrogen for EVs comes from coal power plants, for example. On the other hand, low emission vehicles using natural gas [1] from bio-methane, while being climate friendly, may nevertheless contribute to local air pollution.

The EESC urges the Commission to be more rigorous in facilitating consumers' access to affordable new and cleaner forms of mobility and to make sure that the benefits of these new mobility services are available to all and are spread evenly throughout the Union.

Finally, the EESC welcomes the important role the Commission plays in forming a pan-European alliance of industries with a view to establishing a complete value chain for the development and manufacturing of advanced batteries in the EU. A larger share of manufacturing along the value chain within the EU is vital for our jobs.

[1]              This means predominantly methane from any kind of sources be it underground, organic materials or synthetic chemical processes or a blend of these.