Cross-industry call for zero-emission mobility policy framework

25 March 2022

Achieving automotive sustainability requires a lot of effort from numerous sectors all over the world. Government-set guidelines will be a crucial determining factor in this endeavour. So, a cross-section of industry associations is calling for a more solid policy framework to support the transition to zero-emission mobility.

Automotive, energy-generation, electricity, and charging-infrastructure bodies have issued a joint call to action with five policy recommendations. The associations include the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), Eurelectric, WindEurope, and ChargeUp Europe.

Elsewhere, a collaboration between European and North American alliances promises stronger battery supply chains. The European Commission and the US Department of Energy (DoE) recently announced their support for the joint effort, which extends to critical raw-material segments.

Five policy recommendations

Supporting zero-emission mobility, five industry associations made their first-ever common appeal to policymakers, consisting of five recommendations:

  1. Member states need to stimulate and support investment in charging points and refuelling stations for cars, vans, and trucks. The primary focus should be areas where the market fails to make the required investments for a dense network;
  2. There is a need for greater ambition and capacity-building expertise from public authorities. The bodies claim this will help facilitate and de-risk private investment, while administrative obstacles are also tackled;
  3. Advances in climate-neutral mobility only makes sense in parallel with the zero-emission energy transition. This requires incentives promoting the use of green power within the transport sector. ‘Accelerating permitting procedures in order to deploy the needed renewables generation capacity is key. Governments should also facilitate the expansion of renewables and their connection to charging infrastructure,’ the bodies said;
  4. The need for infrastructure development to go hand-in-hand with policy to ensure the distribution of energy and development of smart grids; and
  5. Customer-centric charging systems need to be properly supported by policy. Infrastructure should be affordable, allow for EU-wide roaming, and not be prejudiced towards any contractual freedoms of the market’s operators.

‘As part of the Fit for 55 negotiations, the associations are urging the European Parliament and the Council to agree on robust and coordinated policies that really support the decarbonisation of transport, including an ambitious Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR). Cross-industry investments coupled with strong political commitments are required to ensure that Europe can deliver on its climate ambitions,’ the associations said.

Transatlantic battery efforts

Elsewhere, the European Commission and US DoE announced their support for collaboration between the European Battery Alliance (EBA) and the US Li-Bridge alliance. The two organisations are looking to boost the development of supply chains for lithium-ion and next-generation batteries, including critical raw-material segments.

The collaboration looks to support battery supply chains by developing sustainable industry capacity that can meet demand from transportation and energy systems. This in turn will be backed by research into next-generation, high-performance, sustainable energy-storage technology. Investment in a workforce will also be needed to drive progress.

However, any advance must not jeopardise environmental progress. Batteries should be sustainable, with ethical sourcing of critical raw materials and accelerated recycling efforts. In the coming months, InnoEnergy, driver of the EBA250 initiative, and Argonne National laboratory will lead efforts between the EBA and its US counterpart. The companies will build bridges between ecosystems and hold forums to carry out specific collaborative efforts.