20 September 2012

Public procurement essential to development of electric car industry in Europe

An International Energy Agency expert has opined that government procurement practices, as well as political and financial aid, will play a crucial role in the successful development of the electric car industry in Europe over the next ten years. Expert Tali Trigg also spoke of the need for a mixture of government subsidies for both manufacturers and citizens, and the importance of public education to ensure electric vehicles are embraced.

Speaking to EurActiv, Trigg highlighted the need for improved infrastructure and incentives to facilitate the transition to electric vehicles. “You can have special [electric car] lanes, access to municipal parking spots, and parking or zoning ordnances demanding that you install electric vehicle charging stations. This has already happened in Stockholm and Geneva” he said. The highest density of public electric charging stations is currently in the City of Amsterdam (Netherlands), which plans to have 500 electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

The comments came as the European Commission issued a transport and technology communication urging Member States to embrace alternative mobility ideas. The communication concludes that “the potential for innovation through public procurement is currently under-exploited in the EU”, citing that the EU states currently purchase around 110,000 passenger cars, 110,000 light duty vehicles, 35,000 heavy duty vehicles, and 17,000 buses.

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