Mobility and Transport

Clean transport, Urban transport

Green propulsion in transport

Green propulsion in transport

Growing concerns over security of energy supply, climate change and health are driving a shift from fossil to alternative fuels and new vehicle propulsion systems capable of delivering long term sustainability. Three quarters of transport greenhouse emissions come from road transport. Transport is especially vulnerable to oil supply disruption and price volatility. Despite huge reductions in emissions of harmful pollutants, there remain concerns over air quality and noise, especially in urban areas.

Transport is an important building block in the EU energy-climate policy. Europe's climate and energy package includes targets for 2020 for energy efficiency, a target minimum share for renewable energy and targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These cannot be reached without a significant contribution from transport.

The Green Cars Initiative, as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan recently adopted by the European Council, is aimed to support the development of new and sustainable forms of road transport.

The Commission is presently supporting three main alternative types of fuels and propulsion technologies which are being developed within the time horizon of 2020. Demonstrations aim to prove vehicle and infrastructure performance and safety with a view to removing market entry barriers. The candidate fuels and propulsion systems include:

  • Biofuels, liquid or gaseous
  • Hydrogen and fuel cells
  • Battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles with plug-in