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Clean transport, Urban transport

Electric vehicles

Electricity as an energy vector for vehicle propulsion offers the possibility to substitute oil with a wide diversity of primary energy sources. This could ensure security of energy supply and a broad use of renewable and carbon-free energy sources in the transport sector which could help the European Union targets on CO2 emissions reduction.

Electric vehicle 'tank-to-wheels' efficiency is a factor of about 3 higher than internal combustion engine vehicles. Electric vehicles emit no tailpipe CO2 and other pollutants such as NOx, NMHC and PM at the point of use. Electric vehicles provide quiet and smooth operation and consequently create less noise and vibration.

The policy related to battery-powered vehicles is mainly focused on technological optimisation and market development. Future challenges in this field include reliability and durability of batteries and super-capacitors, reducing battery weight and volume, safety, cost reduction, improved hybrid electric power-trains, charging infrastructure and plug-in solutions.

Electrification of transport (electromobility) is a priority in the Community Research Programme. It also figures prominently in the European Economic Recovery Plan presented in November 2008, within the framework of the Green Car Initiative.

The European Commission will support a Europe-wide electromobility initiative, Green eMotion, worth €41.8 million, in partnership with forty-two partners from industry, utilities, electric car manufacturers, municipalities, universities and technology and research institutions. The aim of the initiative is to exchange and develop know-how and experience in selected regions within Europe as well as facilitate the market roll-out of electric vehicles in Europe. The Commission will make €24.2 million available to finance part of the initiative's activities

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Related documents

Communication from the Commission to the European Council: A European Economic Recovery Plan [COM(2008) 800, 26 November 2008]

The European Green Cars Initiative is one of the three Public Private Partnerships included in the European Economic Recovery Plan pdf - 92 KB [92 KB] endorsed by the European Council on 11-12 December 2008. The financial envelope for this initiative is €5 billion aiming at boosting the automotive industry at a time of economic hardship, and maintaining support for the development of new, sustainable forms of road transport, in particular electric vehicles.