Mobility and Transport

Sustainable transport

Public Consultations

Public Consultations

Revision of the Clean Vehicles Directive
Consultation period: 

Revision of Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road vehicles (Clean Vehicles Directive)

Results of the consultation

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Minutes of the meeting with stakeholders on the revision of the Clean Vehicle Directive

Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road vehicles, is a public procurement-related instrument, which is more commonly known as "the Clean Vehicles Directive".  It requires public bodies to consider certain energy and environmental impacts when purchasing road vehicles. The Commission is currently carrying out an Impact Assessment of options for a possible revision of the Directive to better support achieving EU policy objectives on climate change and air pollution and to stimulate the market for clean vehicles and increase competitiveness. As part of the Impact Assessment process, the Commission is carrying out this public consultation.

Consultation period

This consultation will last for 13 weeks. Questionnaires should be returned by 24 March 2017 at the very latest.

Target group

All citizens and organisations are welcome to participate in this consultation.

The consultation can be of particular interest to local, regional and national public authorities and public contracting entities that procure road transport vehicles and contracts involving such vehicles.   

Structure of the questionnaire

The questionnaire contains the following sections:

  • Section A: Information about the respondent
  • Section B: Main problem to address
  • Section C: Policy measures
  • Section D: Impacts
  • Section E: Relevance of other action at EU level

Section A is obligatory for all respondents, collecting information about the respondent and asking for the right to publish the information.

Section B is designed to gather input from a broad public audience on the main problem to address through a revision of the Clean Vehicles Directive.

Section C is intended to gather more detailed input on the scope of the initiative and potential policy measures. Questions are technical in nature and the consultation seeks primarily the input from key professional stakeholders.  

Section D is intended to gather more detailed input on potential impacts of possible policy measures under a revision of the Clean Vehicles Directive. The consultation seeks primarily the input from key professional stakeholders.  

Section E is designed to gather input from key stakeholders and the broader public whether the objectives of the revision of the Clean Vehicles Directive could be better achieved through other action at EU level.

Using the questionnaire

  • Contributions may be submitted in any EU language. The questionnaire will soon be available in French, Italian, German and Polish.
  • You can skip questions that you do not feel comfortable responding to. However, replies to questions marked with an asterisk are compulsory. You can also pause at any time and continue later. Once you have submitted your answers, you will be able to download a copy of your completed questionnaire

Context and objective of the consultation

According to the Commission's Communication "A European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility" , by mid-century, greenhouse gas emissions from transport will need to be at least 60 % lower than in 1990 and be firmly on the path towards zero in order to meet the EU's overall climate goals. Emissions of air pollutants from transport need to be drastically reduced without delay.

Faster deployment of clean vehicles is an important lever. Public procurement can be relevant in this context. It is also an important driver of economic growth, jobs and competitiveness. Currently, all purchases of services, works and supplies by public authorities in the EU account for 14% of GDP. To create a level playing field for all businesses, EU law sets out minimum harmonised public procurement rules . These rules organise the way public authorities and certain public utility operators purchase goods, works and services.

In the case of transport, Directive 2009/33/EC  on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient vehicles (commonly known as "the Clean Vehicles Directive") requires public bodies to take account of lifetime energy and environmental impacts when purchasing road transport vehicles. These provisions have been set to particularly address the persistent problems of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from road transport, but also to stimulate the market for clean vehicles and support competitiveness.

Taking account of impacts can be done in two ways:

  • through setting technical specifications for energy and environmental performance in the documentation for the purchase of the road vehicles on each of the impacts or
  • by including energy and environmental impacts in the actual purchasing decision through using these impacts as award criteria in cases where a procurement procedure is applied. In case where impacts are monetised for inclusion in the purchasing decision, the Directive prescribes a specific methodology to be used for the calculation of operational lifetime costs.

In December 2015, the European Commission published an ex-post evaluation of the Clean Vehicles Directive. It concluded that the Directive continued to be relevant but would need adjustment to be more effective. In particular, the evaluation found that objectives were not met, namely that the Directive has little impact on stimulating market uptake of clean vehicles and hence has a very limited impact on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants emitted from publicly procured vehicles.  

Clean vehicles, meaning vehicles with low- or zero-emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, have increasingly become available on the market. Yet decisions to procure them are constrained by their cost.

When deciding to publicly procure a vehicle, full operational life-time costs and benefits are often not duly considered, also owing to information bias. The focus is on initial purchase price. While low- and particularly zero-emission vehicles currently have a higher initial purchase price, they also generally have considerably lower costs of fuel and maintenance over the lifecycle of their operation and yield other benefits such as reduced impacts on public health. Purchase cost, fuel and maintenance costs are, however, often separated in budgets. Consequently, the potential of public procurement to stimulate the market is insufficiently utilised. The evaluation of the Clean Vehicles Directive detected specific problems in the provisions of the Directive that contribute to this problem:

  • limitations in the scope of the Directive
  • limitations in the provisions for purchasing clean vehicles
  • deficits in the current methodology for calculating operational lifetime cost
  • a great variety of national transpositions, resulting in a fragmentation of procurement rules and difficulties for monitoring

The key recommendation of the evaluation was to retain the Directive, but to revise it. As part of the 2017 Work Programme of the European Commission, a proposal for the revision of the Directive including an Impact Assessment has been announced for the 4th quarter 2017.

With this public consultation, the European Commission is inviting all stakeholders and the general public to express their opinion on:

  • the appropriateness of the current Directive provisions relative to the objective of stimulating the deployment of clean vehicles in the EU through public procurement;
  • the problems identified and the preliminary opportunities for policy responses to these problems, as identified by the Commission in the evaluation of the Directive and the preparatory Impact Assessment work for a potential revision of the Directive.

Furthermore, participants to the consultation and particularly stakeholders affected by the provisions of the Directive are invited to share data and factual information on specific aspects of the legislation. Stakeholders with specialist knowledge or direct professional links to the topic are invited, in the framework of this public consultation, to upload relevant expertise material or send them by e-mail: All such contributions will be analysed, reported on and considered in the impact assessment.

More information on the ex-post evaluation of Directive 2009/33/EC and the preliminary ideas for a possible revision can be found in the following documents

Transparency and confidentiality

Please note that contributions received from this survey, together with the identity of the contributor, will be published on the European Commission's website, unless the contributor objects to publication of the personal information. In this case, the contribution will be published in anonymous form.

Follow the explanations about the protection of personal data.

The policy on "protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions" is based on Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000.

Important notice

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, organisations are invited to use the Register of interest representatives to provide the European Commission and the public at large with information about their objectives, funding and structures.

If you are not registered yet in this register, please visit:  


Please note that this document has been drafted for information and consultation purposes only. It has not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be regarded as representative of the views of Commission staff. It does not in any way prejudge, or constitute the announcement of, any position on the part of the Commission on the issues covered. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.