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Transport

We envision a transport system that gets people and goods from place to place via a variety of modes that are increasingly efficient and electrified. Cleaner mobility will reduce the impact of transport on the climate, improve our health and bolster Europe’s economy by reducing our reliance on imported petroleum. Cars, vans and trucks will need to become progressively more electric and greater role must be given to public transport and bicycles.

City Square With Car Traffic View From Above. City Landscape With A Quadrocopter

Key challenges

  • We have only a couple of decades for electric vehicle (EV) charger coverage to catch up to the long-standing network of diesel and gasoline fueling stations, which is vital to ensuring EVs are adopted by motorists.
  • Until electrified cars compete with fossil-fuelled vehicles on cost through scale economies and manufacturing efficiencies, it will be necessary to offer financial incentives for car buyers to become early adopters.
  • While electrification is already making strong inroads into markets for electric buses and short-haul trucks, it is not yet 100% clear whether long-haul trucking will be powered by electricity or hydrogen, creating a “chicken and egg” problem for producers.

Mission

The ECF is working to address these challenges by supporting activities that contribute to a well-informed policy debate. We favour policy approaches that fairly distribute the initial costs of the transition to cleaner and more efficient transport, and we support setting the right public framework to ensure that the right solutions are identified and widely deployed. We also push for policies to support workers and regions that have become dependent on the technologies of the past and will need help transitioning to those of the future.

We believe EU Emissions Standards, properly enforced, are the fairest way to ensure car manufacturers produce cleaner vehicles, helping tackle both climate change and urban air pollution. National deadlines for phasing out fossil-fuelled vehicles, for example in Britain and France, have also helped send a signal to car producers and their suppliers regarding which technologies are a safe investment and which are not. These policies also help future-proof the car industry against overseas competition, for example from Tesla or Chinese competitors, rather than being driven by short-term profit-seeking.

The EU’s standards for cars are a leading global example and are likely to require that EVs make up 30-40% of sales by 2030. But the job is not yet done. More new policies will be needed to encourage adoption by consumers, especially for the large corporate car fleets that make up 45% of car purchases in Europe. Investment in transportation infrastructure as well as in research and development will also need to be supported by national and EU budgets and by public financial institutions.

How we work

We engage widely with other groups who share our goals, including consumer groups who view e-mobility as a clean and consumer-friendly solution, and various parties concerned about the threat that fossil-fuelled cars pose to our health. We also engage with industry, for example logistics companies that are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, to collaborate on reaching our common goal.

We also seek to reduce as much as possible any harmful fallout from the transition to cleaner transport. We engage with unions to understand the impact on workers in diesel-manufacturing dependent regions and we advocate for measures to support inward investment, re-skilling and re-training in those regions.