Speaking at the Scania Transport Conference 2012 on 14 November Siim Kallas Vice-President and Commissioner in charge of Transport addressed some of the concerns of the European road transport today.

The Commissioner acknowledged that the automotive industry is one of the pillars of Europe’s economy but he also admitted that this economy is too much dependent on oil and “it makes sense to research and develop innovative and cleaner alternatives”. According to Mr Kallas “we need energy-efficient technologies – electricity hydrogen natural gas biogas liquid biofuels – which can be produced from low-carbon or carbon-free sources and then deployed in new-generation vehicles”. And he manifested his appreciation for the efforts of the automotive industry in investing in research and development to find new alternatives – not only cleaner but also safer solutions.

“Road congestion already today costs us the equivalent of 1% of GDP. It leads directly to poor air quality and noise exposure. And we know that urbanisation will continue; traffic in cities on their access routes will grow”. Nevertheless the road network “cannot expand indefinitely”.
Vice-president Kallas mentioned also road pricing; “road pricing plays a vital role in shaping more sustainable transport behaviour because it can give incentives to purchase and use cleaner vehicles”.

Siim Kallas confirmed that the Commission “will continue to support ITS although the limited financial resources have to be prioritised on the most promising research areas”. He concluded by stating that “not to act today will cost more tomorrow” and confirmed the necessity of EU institutions national and regional administrations industry and business to work together to “build a European transport system that is competitive and resource-efficient for the future”.

Read the full speech here.

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Original Publication Date: Fri 16 Nov 2012