ACEA has welcomed the recent European Commission (EC) initiative to develop more energy-efficient vehicles.

In its paper - 'Clean and energy-efficient vehicles - European strategy for the uptake of green vehicles," the EC identified vehicles capable of using electricity, hydrogen, biogas and liquid biofuels as important in its push for green technology, noting that American and Asian competitors are investing in low-carbon programmes.

"We support the Commission in its goal to facilitate a rapid deployment of clean and energy efficient vehicles," said ACEA general secretary Ivan Hodac.

"This is the right approach given the fact that major competing economies, such as the US, Japan and China, have already taken strategic action in this field."

Hodac stressed, however, the complexity in adopting a pan-European approach, noting the essential differences between commercial transportation and individual mobility.

He also added that some tasks, such as agreeing on a European recharging plug, could be relatively simple to introduce.

Hodac said European automobile manufacturers were "contributing significantly" to the transition to sustainable mobility in Europe and were maintaining substantial R&D investments despite the economic crisis.

"A viable policy framework sets feasible objectives, provides predictability to industry, enables technological progress without declaring winners or losers, and assesses the impact of regulatory measures beforehand", said Hodac.

"Such a framework also provides timely market incentives for breakthrough technologies and supports further investments in R&D with funding and access to capital. Investments in renewable energies and the necessary recharging and refuelling infrastructure are a further prerequisite and require the involvement of many parties."

Hodac also welcomed the commission's revival of ‘CARS21', or ‘Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st century' initiative launched in 2005 to boost Europe's automotive competitiveness and employment base.

"CARS21 provides an important platform to enhance policy making and share best practices across the EU," said Hodac.

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