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Developing greener road transport

Greening road transport is necessary to achieve EU and world targets in emissions reductions. In the EU, 19% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions and 28% of CO2 emissions in 2005 are linked to the transport sector. More than 90 % of total EU transport emissions are due to road transport. While total EU emissions declined, transport emissions increased continuously between 1990 and 2005 due to high growth in both passenger (28 %) and freight transport (62 %).

Research is the way to develop the sustainable transport methods we need. Such "eco-innovation" will serve both to protect the environment, and to offer competitive advantage to those seeking to create new innovation-driven markets.

Measures contained in the European Green Cars Initiative

The European Green Cars Initiative contains three streams of action:

  • R&D, mainly through FP7 grants for research on greening road transport. Budget: € 1 billion, of which € 500 million from the Commission, matched by € 500 million from industry and Member States
  • Support to industrial innovation through EIB loans. Budget: € 4 billion (in addition to existing loans)
  • Demand side measures & public procurement, such as reduction of circulation and registration taxes for low-CO2 cars
Despite its name, the Green Cars Initiative is not only for passenger cars. Under the Green Cars Initiative, the research topics include:
  • Research for trucks;
  • Research on greening internal combustion engines;
  • Research on bio methane use;
  • Logistics, transport system optimisation; and
  • Research on electric and hybrid vehicles, notably research on:

    • High density batteries;
    • Electric engines; and
    • Smart electricity grids and their interfaces with vehicles.