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EU Clean Vehicles Directive: new rules for the public procurement of clean vehicles

28 August 2019

The EU reached an agreement on new rules for the public procurement of clean vehicles. The Clean Vehicle Directive sets out national minimum public procurement targets for clean and zero emission vehicles. The final act was signed on 20 June 2019 and published in the Official Journal on 12 July 2019. Member States must transpose it to national law by 2 August 2021.

The national public procurement targets for buses will range from 24% to 45% in 2025, and from 33% and 66% in 2030 – depending on a country’s population and GDP. Half of these targets will have to be achieved by procuring zero-emission buses, which means that in Germany and Sweden, for example, almost a quarter of new public buses should be zero emissions by 2025.

For trucks, the targets are much lower ranging from 6% to 10% by 2025 and from 7% to 15% by 2030.  The public procurement share for cars and vans was set between 18.7% and 38.5% and after 2025, only zero-emissions vehicles would count towards the targets. Regarding the scope, mail and parcel deliveries have been added to the scope but there are no targets for mopeds or any L category vehicles.

This law is a clear signal to OEMs to deliver electric buses in sufficient quantity and quality, and at reasonable costs. For local authorities, this is an opportunity to renew their municipal fleet and consider calling for funding programmes for electric buses similar to the Germany case where €100 million annual funding is allocated to e-buses.

The moment is also opportune as the European Commission has published in Januray the Green Public Procurement criteria for road transport services. Contracting authorities can for example include the following criteria in their tendering procedures:

– type-approval CO2emissions for cars and LCVs, and specific technologies for heavy duty vehicles and L-category vehicles;
– criteria based on air pollutant emissions performance for cars and LCVs, and specific technologies for heavy duty vehicles and L-category vehicles;
– rolling resistance of tyres;
– energy efficiency for electric cars and LCVs;
– battery warranties;
– criteria on vehicle and tyres noise emissions;
– require key competences and the application of key environmental management measures and practices from service providers;
– require adequate and frequent training for the staff of service providers;
– require criteria on tyres and lubricants for maintenance activities.

The final EU GPP criteria for road transport are published as a Staff Working Document and are available at the following link.