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Transforming the use of conventionally fuelled vehicles in urban areas


Specific challenge: Significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels in urban mobility, whilst improving air quality and increasing the accessibility and attractiveness of urban areas will, in addition to advances in vehicle technology, require new, cost effective policy measures and tools. In particular the increased use of non-conventionally fuelled vehicles for passenger and freight transport in urban areas is a key challenge. Special attention should be paid to issues related to vulnerable groups of citizens and gender issues.

Scope: Proposals should address one of the following domains:

      Comparing innovative policies, measures and tools that will, inter alia, halve the use of conventionally fuelled vehicles in cities, while increasing accessibility of urban areas and improve air quality and road safety. This could include:

–      Assessing the role of regulatory measures, demand side measures, innovative mobility services and the promotion of alternative modes as part of wider package of technologies, policy-based and soft measures with a strong potential for replication. The related consensus building, information and communication activities should be fully integrated in the work.

–      Exploring how changes in mobility behaviour, individual choices, and social norms can be catalysed, accelerated and guided towards modal shift, changing vehicle use or ownership, reducing the need for travel, new mobility patterns, or their combination. Relevant drivers and barriers could be identified. The research should gather, evaluate and disseminate techniques that can be employed, including approaches that use social media.

      Exploring policy frameworks and measures to ensure the uptake of alternative fuelled vehicle fleets in urban areas. This could include:

–      Assessing the opportunities for large scale deployment of alternative fuel distribution infrastructure, including for electric vehicle recharging. This could include a comparative assessment of deployment approaches combined with the adequate vehicles. Research on partnerships, business models and planning/rollout approaches could be undertaken and standardisation aspects could form part of the work. Pre-commercial procurement initiatives could be facilitated.

–      Analysing the potentials for upgrading and/or regenerating electric public transport systems (i.e. trolleybus, tram, light rail and metro) while ensuring the safe integration of electric vehicles into infrastructure, in line with the trend towards electromobility. This could include the evaluation of costs and benefits of development schemes, also addressing noise aspects, as well as knowledge transfer, exchange of experience and preparing policy recommendations. Activities to improve the operational potential and energy performance of electric public transport may be included.

This topic complements topic GV.8 of this work programme as well as work under the ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ Call of the Energy Challenge.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 to 6 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: The project(s) should lead to increased knowledge and awareness of cost effective strategies, policies and approaches contributing to halving the use of conventionally fuelled vehicles in different types of cities through a variety of approaches. This should result, through increased acceptance by users, operators and policy makers, in their accelerated rollout. Clear commitments from participants, and leadership for an ambitious Europe-wide take up and rollout of results during and following the project(s) are expected.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions