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Podcast: Sigrid De Vries and Martin Daum Discuss Europe’s Road to Decarbonised Transport

This podcast delves into various aspects of the transformation needed to achieve zero-emission transportation in Europe. Below are some key takeaways from their conversation:

Europe’s journey towards decarbonised transport

Martin Daum opened the conversation by emphasising the importance of achieving zero-emission transportation in Europe. He acknowledged that while the path might not be easy or popular, it is necessary. Daum noted that transport will most likely become more expensive as efforts to decarbonise intensify. “I am well aware that this is an inconvenient truth and a burden for many people,” he stated while underlining that this is the price for a more sustainable world.

Matching ambition with reality

Sigrid de Vries highlighted that Europe has made significant strides in setting policy ambitions and vehicle targets for sustainability. “Zero-emission vehicles are not the bottleneck,” she stated while stressing that the focus shifts towards implementing these goals in practical, real-world scenarios. Policy makers often fixate on setting strict targets, believing it will drive the desired changes. However, the business-to-business market requires a more comprehensive approach that establishes the conditions necessary for a successful zero-emission transition. Noting that many of the ambitions of the EU’s Green Deal have now been set in targets, de Vries called “for an industry deal” that puts “industrial strategy firmly back on the agenda”.

Balancing industry and policy perspectives

The conversation also highlighted the need for a balanced understanding between policymakers and industry. Policy makers are not engineers and may not grasp the industry’s intricate challenges fully. Industry has a role in bridging this gap by providing essential information, technical expertise, and collaborative support to help policy makers make informed decisions.

Time is ticking on infrastructure deployment

A significant challenge on the path to decarbonised transport is the development of a robust and comprehensive infrastructure for electric vehicle charging, hydrogen refilling, and green energy. Both agreed that there’s momentum in building such infrastructure in Europe but stressed that it is not progressing fast enough to meet the ambitious targets.  

European unity and regulation

The podcast concluded by underscoring the importance of a joint European approach to regulation. Fragmentation into individual markets with their own rules would create significant inefficiencies for transport. A unified European approach is crucial to maintain competitiveness on the global stage.

Source : Acea