23 December 2014
300 low emission buses to roll out in London
Transport for London (link is external) (TfL) has announced that 300 low emission buses will be introduced into the London public transport fleet before the end of 2014.
The new buses make up almost half of the 700 buses to join London’s system in 2014, and have the latest Euro VI engines (link is external) to meet the European standards on emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. These buses were found by TfL to produce 95 per cent fewer nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than engines meeting lower standards.
These buses complement the roll-out of hybrid buses across the city, nearly 1 000 of which are already on London’s roads. A total of 1 700 are due to be in operation by 2016, making up approximately 20 per cent of the city’s total bus fleet.
'Improving London’s air quality is one of the Mayor’s top priorities, and by 2020 all buses in central London will be either hybrid or electric as we look to radically cut emissions,' said Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s Senior Advisor for Environment and Energy.
Under the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (link is external) (ULEZ) proposal, all buses driving in central London from 2020 will need to meet the Euro VI standard for NOx emissions.
For more information, visit the Cities Today website (link is external).
22 December 2014
Paris mayor calls for diesel ban by 2020
The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, wants to ban diesel cars in the French capital by 2020 and create pedestrianised areas in the city centre to tackle pollution.
In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche, Ms Hidalgo also hinted of a ‘very ambitious’ € 100m cross-city cycling network that would double the amount of bicycle lanes and integrate electric bikes into the city bike rental scheme.
The Mayor said that Parisian streets such as the Champs Elysees were ‘canyons of pollution’ and that in future they may only let in low-emission vehicles. She indicated that she would consider restricting the types of trucks and tourist buses entering the city.
‘I want to see the end of diesel in Paris by 2020,’ she said. ‘Today 60 percent of Parisians already do not have cars, compared with 40 percent in 2001. Things are changing quickly.’
Ms Hidalgo also plans to boost the number of electric car charging stations and develop sustainable freight transport solutions using the river Seine, rail, the Paris RER and trams. Last-mile deliveries, she added, would be done by smaller and electric vehicles.
To read the full interview visit the Journal du Dimanche (link is external) (in French)
12 December 2014
Croatian president supports transition to electric cars
The Croatian President, Ivo Josipović, has called for his fellow citizens to help reduce greenhouse gases by changing their behaviour and driving electric cars.
Following a visit to the State Election Commission to confirm his intent to run again for the presidency, Mr Josipović took a symbolic ride in an electric car to Zagreb’s Upper Town.
The President told waiting reporters that Croatians have entered a time when the environment is facing major problems and that it would have serious consequences on their daily lives and industry.
He also said that 40 per cent of greenhouse gas pollution comes from the transport sector, of which more than 60 percent is from private vehicles. ‘Therefore, the transition to electric vehicles [...] means a lot for our future,’ he said.
Mr Josipović was accompanied by Mirela Holy, the leader of the Croatian Sustainable Development party, who said that clean and energy-efficient vehicles had great potential for boosting Croatia’s economy.
Ms Holy pointed out that Croatia has industries that are able to produce tools and components for the automotive industry, particularly relating to electric cars and alternative fuel technology.
For more information visit Poslovni Dnevnik (link is external) (in Croatian).
11 December 2014
Clean Fleets project launches new resources for public procurers
A series of resources aimed at helping public procurers to comply with the EU’s Clean Vehicles Directive have been released by the Clean Fleets project. The free publications, which include a guide, a life-cycle costing tool, and factsheets, provide up-to-date information and advice from experts and practitioners.
Titled “Procuring clean and efficient road vehicles”, the Clean Fleets guide presents in-depth information for public authorities and public transport operators tasked with purchasing vehicle fleets in accordance with EU legislation. Backed-up by real life examples from European public authorities, the guide shows how environmental criteria can be introduced at various stages of the procurement process.
The life-cycle costing tool empowers procurers to measure the cost of their fleet over its full life span, granting an insight into environmental impacts in addition to financial costs. The factsheets developed by the project provide definitions and pertinent information on a range of topics, including vehicle test cycles, EU legislation and policy, and more.
For more information, visit the Clean Fleets publications page.
5 December 2014
EU supports Europe-wide charging infrastructure
The European Union will invest over € 3.5m in studies and pilot deployment of re-charging points across Central Europe through the TEN-T Programme (link is external).
Enabling long-distance travel using electric vehicles on an interoperable network is one of the EU's priorities. Through the EU's investment 115 high-power re-charging points will be deployed in Austria, Croatia, Germany, Slovakia and Slovenia. This will result in a charging network that will stretch from Munich to Zagreb.
The project will focus on the roll-out of technologies ready for mass-market deployment in the short-term, and carry out studies examining what is required for the complementary technologies in the mid-term.
Studies will also focus on identifying the preferences and needs of consumers when it comes to re-charging infrastructure. This will help to determine where and in what form infrastructural support for electric vehicles is best delivered.
For more information, read the EC's news article (link is external).
4 December 2014
Romanian cities plan electric bus line
The Romanian cities of Deva and Hunedoar are planning to run electric buses on a new 20 km bus route that is set to be completed by 2016.
The € 22m project is a joint initiative between the municipal governments of the two cities as well as Hunedoara County Council. Funding from EU sources is currently being secured.
Trolley buses were initially considered for the new line but were rejected in favour of buses with electric batteries.
'We opted for electric buses because they are a much better alternative, being an environmentally friendly method of public transport without the need to mount overhead wires on concrete pillars,' said Tiberiu Balint, Vice President of Hunedoara County Council.
Mr Balint said that another advantage of the project is that travellers will pay less for a ticket. A single ticket on the route currently costs 6 Romanian lei (€ 1.40).
For more information, visit romaniatv.net (link is external) (in Romanian).