Association, Inc.

Issue No. 2, 2010

JAMA welcomes the EU ministers’ decision on green vehicles

JAMA welcomes the EU Council’s decision to consider its upcoming European strategy on clean and energy-efficient vehicles currently under preparation by the European Commission.  
At an informal meeting held in San Sebastian (Spain) on 9 February, the 27 EU Ministers agreed that electric vehicles (EVs) represent a great opportunity which “makes the initiative a symbol of what Europe requires” in areas such as technology, energy, environment.

According to the Spanish Minister for Industry, Miguel Sebastian, “it is no exaggeration to say that the electric vehicle has been born today in Europe”.  He also mentioned that it is precisely these difficult times that require a commitment for the future.

In addition, Heinz Zourek, the European Commission Director General for Industry and Enterprise, explained that EVs definitely represent a contribution to the EU’s low-carbon economy and that European industry needs to get a chance to lead on such initiatives.  He also added that the European executive body is already preparing instructions for electric vehicle standardization which will be compulsory for the industry.

The Spanish Presidency decision to put electric vehicles high on the political agenda comes at a time when the European Union is discussing the future of its transport policy for the next ten years.

Furthermore, on 19 February Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for enterprise and industry, met with the EU ministers in charge of the automotive sector and participants identified that green technologies can provide a strategic medium-term perspective for the auto industry to recover from the economic crisis and to reinforce its competitiveness.

JAMA appreciates EU ministers’ decision to expand its scope of the European strategy to “clean and energy-efficient vehicles”, including not only EVs but plug-in hybrid vehicles and else, adopted as part of the Council Conclusion on the EU’s Industrial Policy on 1 March.  JAMA welcomes the re-launch of the CARS21 High Level Group to structure discussions on these strategic issues.

In this context, JAMA strongly believes that the outcome of the recent policy discussions is indeed an important step in the right direction.  The EU should seek to support the automotive industry by coordinating, for instance, the initiatives in the different Member States which aim at promoting electric vehicles.

A coordinated approach allowing for the mass deployment of green vehicles should encompass a renewed push in the global discussions on standardization as well as adopting the necessary framework to promote charging infrastructure and enhanced measures such as incentives for purchasing EVs, dedicated lanes, free parking conditions etc).

JAMA strongly encourages European policy-makers to continue their dialogue with the industry on the issue of clean vehicles and reiterates its commitment to providing input whenever necessary.  A good example has already been shown as public hearing on European strategy on clean and energy-efficient vehicles was held on 11 March.  The JAMA members look forward to the European Commission’s strategy on green vehicles, and its discussion process in the coming months.