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Stakeholders in future EU Electric Vehicle Market to collaborate around urban deployment

06 April 2011

London – International NGO The Climate Group and Polis – who have members that makeup a network of European Cities and Regions – hosted a joint event on 6 April at the offices of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to discuss how local governments, fleetowners, and the energy and motor industries can work together to grow the European market forelectric vehicles (EVs).

European ambition on clean transport solutions is rising rapidly. Little more than a week ago, the EU Commissioner announced as part of its Transport 2050 White Paper its intention to have no more oil-fueled cars running in cities by 2050. The plan involves putting in place strict interim targets to halve their use in cities by 2030.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “While central governments are setting long-term policies to change the world’s transport systems, the Clean Revolution in the transport sector will start in our cities, states and regions. It is easy to work in isolation in transport, or city energy usage, or energy generation itself, but the challenge and huge businesses opportunity will be to link the three together in a smart way.”

Opening the event, Isabel Dedring, the Mayor of London’s Advisor for Environment, said: “The Mayor of London wants to create the electric car capital of Europe. We are planning 100,000 vehicles in use as soon as possible, supported by world class infrastructure. This target includes the use of electric vehicles across the Greater London Authority fleet. Collaboration across a raft of private and public sector organisations is key to the delivery of the Mayor's ambitious plans. The launch this spring of Source London, the first ever city-wide electric vehicle scheme, is a great testimony to partnership working, not least as we are able to share our experiences with other regions to accelerate their own plans.”

Alexandra van Huffelen, the Vice-Mayor from Rotterdam, highlighted the efforts of her city in supporting the deployment of EVs and the importance of cooperation with industry. She said: “Electric transport has a lot of potential. I am certainly convinced of this. However this budding technology needs a solid impulse. With its program Rotterdam Electric, Rotterdam hopes to speed up the introduction of electric transport. Rotterdam is creating the ideal conditions to support and accelerate the development of electric transport. The aim is to have at least 1,000 electric vehicles in Rotterdam. It is the government's task, and a very important task at that, to make it possible to develop the necessary charging infrastructure.”

Her comments were echoed by representatives from Hamburg and Amsterdam who illustrated the commitment of local public authorities across Europe. One example is the Autolib’ public cars scheme will deploy by 2012 a fleet of 3000 EVs for public use in Paris and the surrounding area.

Bernabe Unda Barturen, Minister of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism of the Basque Government, said: “Over the past two years, the Basque Government has implemented policies and innovative solutions for public-private collaboration in order to overcome the regulatory and financial barriers for the take up of Smart technologies in different sectors. Public-private companies, dedicated to developing specific smart initiatives have been formed through partnership between leading energy sector companies and a public agency of the Basque Government.”

Fleets are where a high proportion of new vehicles are purchased. In the UK in 2009, nearly 2 million new vehicles were registered. The top 200 fleet owners in the UK own nearly half a million vehicles, and replace them every 3-4 years. Therefore, the control of the vehicle market is increasingly lying with fleet managers, who look at the total cost of ownership when choosing to invest.

Highlighting the potential of fleet coalition, Ruben van Doorn, Project Director, TNT, said: “Fleet managers have the purchasing power to help quickly expand the EV market, and bring down cost of individual EVs for consumers. But we need to work with cities, auto manufacturers, infrastructure suppliers and other fleet purchasers to ensure that our initial investment in this technology is attractive in terms of cost, vehicle availability and operating infrastructure.”

Thomas Becker, Vice President of Corporate and Government Affairs, BMW, said: “We have been conducting field trials of BMW built electric vehicles since mid-2009, using the MINI E, the electric BMW Active E. And our customer feedback has been used to shape our newest electric vehicle, the BMW i3 and other future BMW Group products with electric drive trains. But creating the perfect vehicle to match consumer requirements is not enough. We must also work with our industry peers and city governments to ensure that the infrastructure to support electric vehicle use is in place.”

The event marked the launch of The Climate Group’s activities on UK fleets under its EV20 program, which aims to accelerate early EV market development by facilitating the creation and sharing of cutting edge policy and best practice. Models developed as part of The Climate Group’s initiative in the UK can be shared and replicated in other cities around Europe. The EV20 programme benefits from the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (www.fpa2.com).

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact:


Sylvain Haon | Polis |  | +32 (0)2 500 56 71
Lauren Bird | The Climate Group |  | +44 (0)207 960 2982

 

About Polis
Polis is a network of leading European cities and regions working together to implement innovative solutions for local transport. www.polisnetwork.eu

About The Climate Group
The Climate Group is an independent, not-for-profit organization working internationally with government and business leaders to advance the smart policies, technologies and finance needed to cut global emissions and unlock a clean industrial revolution. Our global coalition of companies, states, regions and cities around the world recognizes the economic and environmental imperatives of taking decisive actions now. The Climate Group was founded in 2004 and has operations in Australia, China, Europe, India and North America. www.theclimategroup.org

 

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