We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
On 17 May 2018 the European Commission introduced a package of measures addressing transport safety, connected and automated mobility, and clean mobility.
The package includes a proposal for CO2 emissions standards for lorries, seeking to reconcile the ambition of world-leading environmental standards with increasing the competitiveness of the European heavy duty vehicle manufacturing industry to secure jobs and growth.
A pivotal communication on the prospects of connected and automated mobility is part of the package, together with the EU Battery initiative action plan and a report on raw materials for battery applications.
The JRC has provided essential scientific support to the design of many of the initiatives of the 3rd mobility package. In particular, evidence provided by the JRC – on present Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) emissions and technologies, the impact of policy options for HDV, and the requirements and impacts of connected and automated mobility - formed the basis of the final package.
The JRC has also actively contributed to the preparation of the action plan for a competitive and sustainable battery cell manufacturing industry in Europe, and assessed critical raw materials' demand for batteries for the electric vehicles sector until 2030.
The certification and monitoring of Heavy Duty Vehicle CO2 emissions is a prerequisite for setting CO2 emission standards.
This will start in Europe in 2019 and will be based on the Commission/JRC developed VECTO simulator and the accompanying certification methodology.
The JRC has also been instrumental to address the technological issues related to the impact assessment accompanying the proposal for heavy duty vehicle CO2 standards, for example, assessing the CO2 emissions reduction potential of various technologies, and for the assessment of cost-efficient ways to achieve different CO2 emissions reduction targets as well as the impact of these actions on fuel savings and on costs for manufacturers and transport operators.
The evaluation of the costs of a policy and the corresponding impacts on consumers and industry is a key step of policy formulation. With its DIONE model, the JRC provided a modelling framework to assess the costs of HVD CO2 emission standards.
The researchers have run cost calculations for eight major HDV sub-groups of both diesel and LNG type for 2025 and 2030 scenarios.
To this end, 80 final HDV cost curves have been developed, which have been the basis of several hundred cross-optimisation scenario runs with subsequent total cost calculation from different user perspectives, providing a knowledge base for assessing different HDV CO2 target levels and design options.
JRC has also processed and analysed large datasets supplied by the industry which provided useful input to the preparation of the impact assessment.
Together with its electrification, road transport connectivity and automation are expected to cause the disruption of a sector which has not changed significantly in decades since the mass produced vehicles became an intrinsic part of the mobility landscape.
Vehicle connectivity and automation may enable a paradigm change in mobility and the large scale adoption of mobility-as-a-service travel options causing a shift away from personally owned modes of transport towards on demand pay-per-use mobility solutions.
The term Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) enshrines the concept of a future mobility in which all the actors are connected thus communicating and interacting in a seamless and automated way. Accidents, pollution, delays, waste of energy and natural resources are all expected to be reduced as a result.
The JRC has helped to address the issues of secure and trustful communications among vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure, as well as sound data protection level and operability of the relevant messages through the development of the common European certificate and security policy documents.
The JRC has also started implementing a pilot of the common EU-wide cybersecurity infrastructures and processes needed for secure and trustful communication between vehicles and infrastructure for road safety and traffic management related messages for all public (e.g. road operators, public authorities) and private (e.g. vehicle manufacturers) stakeholders in Europe.
This includes the setup of centralised functionalities of the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) foreseen in the common certificate and security policy, like for instance a Central Point of Contact, Trust List Manager and an EU Root Certification Authority.
The JRC will be able to rely on its extensive experience in this field of cyber security through its active role and responsibilities for the European smart tachograph.
In addition, the JRC has performed an analysis of the societal implications of CAM, including assessment of the impact on jobs and economic benefits.
Through its long-standing expertise along the whole value chain and strategic collaboration with industry established over the years, the JRC has actively contributed to the preparation of the action plan for a competitive and sustainable battery cell manufacturing industry in Europe.
The JRC researchers emphasise the importance of R&I for competitiveness and the enabling role standardisation has for the safe and sustainable domestic production, (re-)use and recycling of batteries.
This input builds on the JRC expertise and experimental capacities on pre-normative battery research and safety testing and on its contribution to the Integrated SET-Plan Action on batteries to define the R&I activities which are needed for Europe to become competitive.
Through its Open Access to experimental facilities programme the JRC's state-of-the-art battery testing laboratories for battery safety and performance testing are now available to researchers working in academia and research organisations, industry, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to help innovate technologies further i.e. gathering experimental data, and push these technologies towards commercialisation.
The JRC is playing an increasingly central support role to facilitate the availability and quality of knowledge on raw materials, in close collaboration with the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and other services, addressing all three dimensions of sustainability (social, environmental, and economic), which are essential to EU policy for the security of supply as well as for the sustainable supply of raw materials.
For the need of the EU Battery Initiative Action Plan and the Staff Working Document "Report on Raw Materials for battery applications", the JRC assessed critical raw materials (CRMs) demand for batteries for the electric vehicles sector until 2030, including potential material flows resulting from recycling of electric vehicles deployed in the EU.
The report also intends to open an informed discussion with the EU institutions, Member States and key stakeholders on the existing knowledge and data gaps.
The JRC also advised the services of the Commission on the actions needed to secure the supply of raw materials, in particular concerning current and future secondary raw materials availability for batteries.
Related work and reports: