The development of a trans-European transport network—guaranteeing the mobility of people and goods with high-quality infrastructure—is considered by European policies to be a priority action for improving territorial cohesion.

Another pillar of European policy is the competitiveness and “sustainability” of transport, a theme that has been widely developed since the 1990s, culminating in 2011 with the publication of the Transport White Paper “Roadmap towards a single European transport area for a competitive and sustainable transport policy”. This document sets out the objectives for a competitive and efficient transport system, capable of reducing the respective greenhouse gasses by 60% by 2050.

The White Paper details a series of steps and commitments that need to be implemented by 2020 and 2030, structured according to a series of transversal objectives that the European Union identifies and supports as guidelines:

• in relation to economic models of development:

a) or the support of market logic that favours competition between operators;

b) or the involvement of private capital;

• development of an intermodal logistics system;

• technological innovation, infomobility, ICT applied to transport;

• road safety;

• sustainable urban mobility.

Indications that have particular relevance are framed within the following regulatory instruments:

• The agreement of October 2014 by the European commission on the climate – energy package 2030, which provides for a mandatory 40% reduction of greenhouse gasses by 2030, within the EU as a whole, and a 27% increase in clean energy production (renewable sources) throughout the Eurozone. Energy efficiency will be increased by the same deadline and percentage (27%), this may also be achieved through the use of energy-saving technologies and an improvement of interconnection between the European electricity grids;

• The Directive 2009/28/EC of the 23 April 2009, on promoting the use of energy from renewable sources, that sets a target of 10% renewable energy on the total consumption of energy in the transport sector in 2020;

• The Directive 2010/40/EU, of the 7 July 2010, that promotes the deployment of the Intelligent Transport System, in the road transport sector, in relation to other modes of transport;

• The Directive 2014/94/EU, of 22 October 2014, also known as AFID (Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive), that sets out a series of measures for the creation of infrastructure for alternative fuels, to reduce dependence on petrol to a minimum and to mitigate the environmental impact within the transport sector. The Directive defines alternative fuels as; electricity, hydrogen, biofuels, synthetic and paraffinic fuels, and natural gas including biomethane.

This last directive plays a very important role in the sector’s regulatory panorama and will be the benchmark for some years to come. It establishes, for the first time, some of the basic technical requirements that go into making the charging infrastructure interoperable at a European level, as well as defining some duties and objectives in terms of planning and infrastructure for the Member States.

Important guidelines, also included in the AFID Directive, come from the CARS 21 high-level group of 6 June 2012 report, which recommends initiating concrete action concerning key issues such as e-mobility, road safety, intelligent transport systems, market access strategies and a review of the legislation regarding CO² emissions from cars and vans. The implementation of the recommendations indicated in the CARS 21 final report is necessary for the introduction of various alternative fuels and, consequently, in order to develop infrastructures that enable the widespread market distribution of vehicles running on these fuels.

Pietro Farinati

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