Policy measures seminar at the TEN-T Days 2018

Enhancing the Alternative Fuels Market through Vision, Targets and Policy Measures

GREAT hosted a seminar titled “Enhancing the Alternative Fuels Market through Vision, Targets and Policy Measures” at the TEN-T Days on the 25th of April. In the seminar, results and good practices for national and sub-national policy measures related to alternative fuels were presented. Six panel speakers were invited to participate. In GREAT, the policy measures have been divided into Innovation Domains. Each panel speaker represented one Innovation Domain:

Infrastructure Adaptation: Roland Ferwerda, NKL

  • Regulations – Richard Ferrer, DG Move
  • Taxes & Subsidies – Hans-Jürgen Salmhofer, Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology
  • Knowledge Sharing – Saša Bart, Dyvolve Ltd.
  • Pilot Projects – Gabriella Cassola, Ministry for Transport and infrastructure, Malta
  • Procurement – Jeppe Juul, President Transport and Environment

Mini workshop

After an introduction to GREAT, the panel and the audience interacted in a mini workshop, one group for each innovation domain. Guided by the panel speakers, the groups discussed which policy measures that can support the 2030 vision of GREAT, and provide suggestions for policy measures to enhance the alternative fuels market, especially after 2020 and onwards. After the group discussions, each panel speaker summarized and presented the conclusions.

Regulations – Richard Ferrer, DG Move

Mr. Ferrer mentioned the lack of quantitative targets on an EU level. There is a problem that the EU level lacks directions of mobility efficiency. For instance, the congestion cannot be reduced by simply just replacing diesel cars with electrical cars – the congestion will still be there at the end of the day. Next, Mr. Ferrer talked about that policy measures on a national and sub-national level are focusing too much on moving people as individuals by introducing policy measures such as free parking etc. Thus, also this level needs to focus on efficient mobility of people in combination with alternative fuel transportation. The work on EU-level must be linked to a broader perspective that encompasses energy efficiency, traffic yams, pollutions, emissions and accessible mobility solutions. It is also important to ensure an open market and for this open data is needed.

Taxes and Subsidies – Hans-Jürgen Salmhofer, Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology

Mr. Salmhofer brought up the issue of whether or not electric cars will be cheaper than conventional cars in the future, considering that vehicle tax exemptions on electrical cars will eventually disappear. As prices of the electric vehicles are expected to drop, the group concluded that the total cost of ownership will not be more expensive for electrical vehicles compare to conventional cars in the future. On the heavy-duty vehicle side, big and long investments are needed and for that reason, there must be a long-term planning for taxes and subsidies.

Knowledge Sharing – Saša Bart, Dyvolve Ltd.

Mr. Bart spoke about bottom-up approaches as a method to share knowledge, and how this touches the issue that there is a lack of basic knowledge of what is happening in the technological field. More people have to be engaged in the transition of the transport sector and for instance, share knowledge through social platforms. Mr. Bart also mentioned the need for having a charging map, covering larger areas in Europe and for cross-border transport.

Pilot Projects – Gabriella Cassola, Ministry for Transport and infrastructure, Malta

Ms. Cassola underlined the “Chicken and egg” problem – there is a demand for electric mobility, but it is too expensive to provide the supply. Ms. Cassola stressed that the government should step in and push the market and be involved in changing the society’s attitude towards alternative fuel transportation, through good communication campaigns. A behavior change is needed and governments need to address this also with educational efforts.

Infrastructure Adaptation – Roland Ferwerda, NKL

Mr. Ferwerda mentioned the complexity of countries having different ambitions concerning the implementation of alternative fuel transportation as this lead to different policy measures and goals among countries. Mr. Ferwerda, also stressed that we should not distinguish between fuels yet as we at the moment cannot rely on only one type of fuel as we need the combination. The industry needs to be involved to a larger extent. He also highlighted that we in the future, after implementing infrastructure, must provide guidelines of how to effectively use the infrastructure (roaming, interoperability, standardization etc.). The goal is to be subsidy independent in a few years.

Procurement – Jeppe Juul, Transport and Environment

Mr. Juul emphasized that public procurement processes must start to use big data to address the area of city logistics and also long-term spatial planning.  In addition, Juul pointed out the same aspect mentioned by Mr. Ferwerda and highlighted that the procurement process should include more aspects and not be limited to one type of alternative fuel transportation as this should include a variety. In terms of heavy transport, EU should put higher requirements on European truck producers to deliver the vehicles we need for the transition. Otherwise, we can risk a situation where organizations start to buy these vehicles China. There is also a need to keep R&D and production within the borders of EU. Today, the market is small and thus the role of the government gets more important. It is hard to achieve full interoperability, but the demand must be open protocols and an open market.

Concluding discussions

After each panel leader had summarized the group discussions, they got the chance to comment on each other’s statements. During this part, it was pointed out that the roaming and interoperability perspective is important, not only in terms of providing physical infrastructure but also with regards to informational infrastructure (how to use, where to use, what and how to pay etc.). The importance of having top-down strategies was mentioned. Governments must step up and set the framework and guide the society and organizations. On the other hand, it was also declared that operators have a large responsibility in terms of pushing the member states to go in the same direction in terms of alternative fuel transportation. As interoperability will be important, the operators need to be aligned in the development. The need of having a cross-border map for charging infrastructure and corridor projects was emphasized.

As a last part of the session, the audience got the chance to comment and ask questions. It came one remark from the audience regarding interoperability. The remark pointed out that there is a conflict. The communities are pushing for more and better charging infrastructures, and in order to deliver this, the charge point operators are claiming a free market to operate. A free market means that there will be competition between the charge point operators and they strive to be profitable. This conflict can be an obstacle in terms of achieving interoperability. It was also stated that DG Energy should be involved to a larger extent with DG Move