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Sustainable mobility at EU Sustainable Energy Week

Publication date: 07 March 2008

Sustainable motoring needs to become a shared responsibility between industry, policy makers and mobile consumers.


Speaking at a seminar entitled “Towards Sustainable Mobility” during the European Union Sustainable Energy Week 2008, Olivier Lenz from the FIA's European Bureau, warned participants that Europe's strategy to reduce CO2 emissions still needs to be more comprehensive and better integrated. “Sustainable motoring needs to be a shared responsibility between industry, policy makers and mobile consumers,” he told participants. Lenz, who also presented the FIA's Ten Points for Greener Motoring*, was speaking at a seminar with high-level participants from all over Europe.


Referring to the draft legislation proposed by the European Commission last December, Lenz pointed to the FIA clubs’ CO2 working model as a way of further supporting the EC path to CO2 reduction**. The model, developed by German club ADAC, offers an overall assessment of technology potentials. “The model shows that by maintaining “business as usual” the 130 grams per kilometre by 2012 target will be missed by 22 grams or 17%,” Lenz explained to participants. “This target, however, is reachable if a variety of technological and consumer demand measures are used,” Lenz added. The model assesses future technology improvements, which can be achieved by industry at reasonable cost, as they are based on known and market-ripe technologies. “Alternative fuels and propulsion systems are most welcome, but not absolutely necessary,” continued Lenz.


Simulated eco-driving
The importance of FIA's Ten Points for Greener Motoring was also confirmed by a survey undertaken during the Sustainable Energy Week. Over 75% of survey participants, for instance, believe eco-driving can make a “valuable contribution” to reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The survey was undertaken by the European auto industry association (ACEA), in cooperation with the ECODRIVEN project. The European campaign on improving driving behaviour, energy-efficiency and traffic safety (ECODRIVEN) has received the FIA's full backing.


During the Sustainable Energy Week, around 5% of the total 4000 visitors acquired first hand experience of eco-driving. Thanks to two car-seat simulators, participants, including Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, could test their eco-driving skills and learn how to reduce fuel consumption and thereby CO2 emissions. By 2010, the eco-driving reduction potential of CO2 emissions is estimated by the European Climate Change Programme to reach 50 million tons of CO2 emissions in Europe alone. In this respect, the EU must adopt a clear position in defining its emissions reduction road map. According to Lenz, central to any road map for CO2 reduction must then be good consumer information including, for instance, the information given by the EcoTest car emission testing programme***.


In reducing CO2 emissions, Europe’s policy makers need to prioritise according to cost-efficiency and detailed impact assessments. Measures addressing vehicle and fuel technologies, road infrastructure must be combined with driver behaviour. Here Lenz pointed to the FIA's unique position in informing over 100 million motorists worldwide, and 34 million in Europe, on fuel economy. Informing members includes pointing to the most fuel-efficient and cleanest cars, how to drive in the most fuel-efficient way and the importance of fuel quality. “Our job as a consumer representative is to make everything clear for the consumer. With the current bandying around of different figures and percentages, even the experts are left wondering where the debate is going,” noted Lenz. “If a new fuel is put on the market, such as E85, the clubs will see it as an important part of their role to evaluate and inform consumers about such new fuels,” he added.


* FIA's Ten Points are: Buy Green; Plan your journey; Check tyre pressure frequently; Reduce loads and avoid roof racks; Don’t warm up engines before trips; Use air conditioning only when necessary; Accelerate gently and keep speed constant; Use engine breaking; Don’t idle your engine; Offset your CO2 emissions.


** The model developed by the ADAC is based on extensive data research on existing vehicle fleets registered between 2001 and 2006. It extrapolates the information to develop market evolution scenarios. The model examines the effect of different factors such as the share of different fuel types, consumer demand patterns, and technological developments, on the average fleet emissions by 2012.


*** The EcoTest – developed by the ADAC under the commission of the FIA Foundation – supports consumers in choosing environmentally friendly vehicles, taking into consideration individual needs regarding vehicle size and class. EcoTest assesses the emissions of hydrocarbon (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). The final star rating awarded to the different car models is based on emissions and fuel consumption. The public interest in this important consumer information is shown by the numerous enquiries and requests for further measurements. The results are seen as an important input for the political discussion on car emissions. URL:


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