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Polis joins forces with EUROCITIES and CEMR on the revision of the Clean Vehicles Directive

24 October 2018

Ahead of the vote in the European Parliament (EP) on the ENVI report regarding the recast of the procurement rules for clean vehicles in the European Union, the three major European networks of local and regional authorities sent a joint letter to Members of the EP (MEPs), voicing support for the report. The vote takes place on Thursday 25 October in Strasbourg and will set the tone for the upcoming discussions and negotiations with the European Council.

Local and regional authorities are committed to the promotion of clean vehicles, to support the goals for decarbonisation, improved air quality and the stimulation of markets for clean technology. The revision of the procurement rules for clean vehicles can play an important role in public transport fleet renewal (both in cities and rural areas), cleaner freight to meet the 2011 White Paper target of CO2-free logistics in major urban areas by 2030, and a greater impact through the inclusion of public service contracts and encouraging member state regulation of private fleets.

The three networks would like to bring the following points to the attention of the MEPs.

1. They support the new elements introduced by the ENVI and TRAN Committees and in particular that:

  • greater technological flexibility has been secured for cities and regions to procure vehicles that are clean, contribute to decarbonisation and meet their needs, according to the local context (geographical, demographical, social, environmental or energy-related).

  • the scope of the directive has been broadened to allow the opportunity for Member States to include in their procurement legislation (provided that they are under a public service contract) parcel delivery, taxi services, car-sharing, private-hire, municipal collection services, etc. in respect of the principles of subsidiarity and local self-governance. Cities and regions would further support encouraging member states to regulate private fleets.

  • L category vehicles have been added to the directive. This is important because it’s a growing sector within the clean vehicle market, relevant for local authorities to manage urban freight logistics and for specific purposes such as policing, delivery services etc.

  • a commitment to the financial support of local authorities in their procurement of clean vehicles is made, particularly as cost-differences in alternatively and conventionally fuelled vehicles may challenge service provision.

  • the application date for the procurement targets has been clarified. Targets would apply from the entry into force of the directive and would then increase in 2025.

  • a provision for retrofitting has been included, which is a cost-effective measure to clean public vehicle fleets and contribute to the targets established by the Directive.

  • Member States should report on the implementation of the directive in 2023, 2026, and every 3 years thereafter.

2. Cities and regions would advocate the following:

  • Member States should only permit DSOs to develop, own, operate and manage recharging infrastructure in situations where there is no clear interest from the market, to avoid market distortions.

  • should  the Commission set up a Union platform for cross-border and joint procurement of low-emission and energy-efficient road transport vehicles, as proposed by the ENV Committee, cities and regions would like to see that this is done in cooperation with city and regional authorities – important procurers for the services and vehicles addressed in this directive.

Read the full letter here.

About the organisations:

Polis is a network of European cities and regions working together to develop innovative technologies and policies for local transport. Our aim is to improve local transport through integrated strategies that address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of transport. To this end, Polis supports the exchange of experiences and the transfer of knowledge between European local and regional authorities. It also facilitates the dialogue between local and regional authorities and other actors of the sector such as industry, research centres and universities, and NGOs. Polis’ participation in European projects allows the network to create a framework which facilitates dialogue and exchange between local authorities and the transport research community.

The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) is the broadest organisation of local and regional authorities in Europe. Its members are over 50 national associations of municipalities and regions from 41 European countries. Together these associations represent some 150 000 local and regional authorities. CEMR’s objectives are twofold: to influence European legislation on behalf of local and regional authorities and to provide a platform for exchange between its member associations and their elected officials and experts. Moreover, CEMR is the European section of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the worldwide organisation of local government.

EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities, with over 140 members across 39 countries, representing more than 130 million people. We work in all areas of interest for cities, from culture to mobility, environment to social affairs, economic development to smart cities. We facilitate learning experiences between cities, and represent cities’ interests towards the European Union. EUROCITIES is committed to working towards a common vision of a democratic, sustainable future in which all citizens can enjoy a good quality of life.