Platform for electrification of surface transport launched in Europe


Gesine Meissner,
Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — March 20, 2013 – Eleven organizations from across industries and transport modes have joined forces to drive forward the electrification of surface transport in Europe.

These are power and transport infrastructure provider Alstom, AVERE (European Association for Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles), CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies), ETRA (European Twowheel Retailers’ Association), EURELECTRIC (The Union of the Electricity Industry), EUROBAT (European Storage Battery Manufacturers Association), Going Electric (association for electric vehicles and their users in Europe), vehicle manufacturer Nissan, Polis (network of European cities and regions for innovative transport solutions), UITP (International Association of Public Transport), and UNIFE (Association of the European Rail Industry).

The Platform for the Electrification of Surface Transport is based on the premise that electrification is a key way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport and to reduce the dependence of the European Union on imported oil.

“The vision of the Platform is to aim for fully electrified door-to-door multimodal transport solutions,” said MEP Gesine Meissner. “This is an exciting prospect for European citizens and businesses, with significant growth and employment prospects.”

In a common statement, the eleven organizations say the European Commission’s 2011 Transport White Paper lays out the stark challenges facing the transport sector: it depends on oil and oil products for 96 percent of its energy needs and has contributed negatively, so far, to climate policy goals. Taking these challenges into account and recognizing the importance of a competitive European transport equipment industry, substantial electrification of the transport system is essential.

Further, the organizations are convinced that the transformation of Europe’s transport system should be based on natural complementarities between transport modes. Existing and future electrified public transport infrastructure should serve as a backbone providing charging facilities for electric road vehicles, while also facilitating seamless multimodal travel.

The statement says that electrification of surface transport is achievable with existing technologies using electrified railways. In the urban and sub-urban context, an expansion of electrified public transport services, including light rail, metro, and trolleybuses, and the successful deployment of light duty electric road vehicles, buses and other captive fleets as well as electric two-wheelers are within reach now.

However, for mass deployment, some network capacity reinforcement and a proper load and energy management, including smart charging, will be necessary to ease stress on the electricity grids.

The statement continues that fair competition and clear price signals are essential for an efficient and competitive transport system. Taxation and pricing should be based primarily on carbon emissions, while also taking noise and air pollution into account. To this end the White Paper’s initiatives to align transport taxation with Europe’s sustainability goals and to proceed with the further internalization of external costs are supported.

Furthermore, the introduction of binding economic instruments is supported to ensure that the emissions reduction target for the transport sector is actually met.

For these reasons, the organizations jointly call upon public authorities to support the further electrification of surface transport on the basis of a multi-modal approach.