Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area

Plugging into smart solutions

Two cars receiving signalsHigh-speed trains have transformed travel, and new plane engines are soon to significantly reduce aircraft emissions. Research and technology can provide the solutions for more efficient and sustainable transport in the future. Intelligent transport systems, new generation vehicles and alternative energy/propulsion systems are just some of the solutions on offer to make travel greener and more efficient.

  • The new generation of jet engines due on the market in 2020 will cut aircraft emissions by 10-15%. Emission reductions of up to 40% are expected from 2025-2030.

    Sources: International Civil Aviation Organization, 2010, Environmental Report 2010

  •  Electric cars could contribute to savings of 5 Mt CO2/year if the national and regional objectives of putting 5 million electric vehicles on the market by 2020 is met.

    Source: Report of the European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels, 2011. 

  • The average car engine emits 28 times less carbon monoxide than 20 years ago. An average new car today consumes 15% less fuel per 100 km than 10 years ago.

    Sources: EC calculations based on the difference between Euro 1 and Euro 5 standards for cars and light duty vehicles; Monitoring the CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in the EU, COM(2010) 655 final  

  • The European Commission’s hydrogen bus project has demonstrated over three years in nine EU cities that hydrogen is a viable zero-emission alternative to diesel and gasoline – provided that the energy generating the hydrogen comes from non-fossil sources. The buses transported 8.5 million passengers over 2.6 million km, using 555 tonnes of hydrogen instead of 1 million litres of diesel. Of the people surveyed, 68% said they wanted to see more of these buses, and 44% were willing to pay more for them.

    Source: HyFLEET:CUTE project 2006-09 

  • Navigation devices can make car journeys shorter. In a study for TomTom, researchers found km savings per journey of 6-16% and time savings of 11-18%. With nearly 40 million “sat nav” users across Europe, this represents a saving of 10 million hours in traffic and more than 100 million vehicle km.

    Source: TNO, 2007, Do navigation systems improve traffic safety?, Berg Insight (2009), own calculations 

  • High-speed trains have cut travel time by 43% between Brussels and Frankfurt, and by more than 60% (from 4 hours 52 minutes to 1 hour 51 minutes) between Brussels and London. So far, the speed record was 574.8 km/h reached by a TGV in April 2007.

    Source: High-speed Europe – a sustainable link between citizens, 2010 pdf - 8 MB [8 MB] Deutsch (de) français (fr)  

  • Train journeys can be faster than short and medium distance flights. This applies in particular to high-speed lines over distances of up to 800 km. A 400 km journey by high-speed train can be up to an hour faster than covering the same distance by plane.

    Source: European High Speed Rail – An Easy Way to Connect pdf - 5 MB [5 MB]

  • High-speed trains are the preferred passenger choice. When Spain’s high-speed Madrid-Seville line was launched in 1992, the route's market share for rail rose from 19% to 53%. The Barcelona-Madrid link saw its share rise from 13.7% before it opened to 45.6% in 2010.

    Sources: European High Speed Rail – An Easy Way to Connect pdf - 5 MB [5 MB] , Ferropedia 

  • 25 modern trucks make less noise than one built in 1980. Trucks have become much quieter over the last 30 years thanks to such technological innovations as special insulation, low-rolling resistance tyres and other noise control techniques. Further reductions could be made by using low-rolling resistant surfaces for new roads.

    Source: International Road Transport Union

  • Greater efforts are needed to increase electro-mobility: today’s electric car would need a battery pack weighing 2 500 kilos to provide the same energy as a diesel car with a 50-litre tank.

    Source: Report of European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels pdf - 4 MB [4 MB] , 2011. 

  • Transport has become a lot safer. The number of people killed in road accidents in 2010 is expected to be 40% lower than in 2000. Road is still considerably more dangerous than other means of travel, but road safety technology such as advanced braking systems, electronic stability control, and lane-keeping assistants are helping to reduce these figures.

    Source: Impact Assessment on the type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles (SEC(2008) 1908) ; Trends on road safety

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Last update: 13/10/2011 | Top