INDUSTRIAL TRANSFORMATION PLATFORM KICK-OFF EVENT
On 28 June, CLECAT attended the kick-off event of the Industrial Transformation Platform at the European Parliament’s premises. Hosted by MEP Ismail Ertug (S&D, Germany), the meeting addressed several challenges related to the transition to zero-emission transport and industry.
Commission Executive Vice-President Maroš Šefcovic gave a keynote speech on the EU’s strategy to become a leader in the battery-manufacturing industry by 2025. Several alliances and partnerships have been launched, including an EU-Norway critical raw materials partnership focused on recycling and substitution of some raw materials. Dr Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL group, presented the group’s strategy towards zero-emission logistics. He noted that biofuels such as bio-LNG/bio-CNG would still be needed in the long-term as bridging technologies, until zero-emissions solutions for all modes of transport would be available. He called on policymakers to provide the right incentives for the development of a comprehensive public road charging and refuelling infrastructure as well as a flexible and ambitious sustainability aviation fuels (SAF) policy.
The panel on alternative powertrains discussed the challenges and opportunities of the decarbonisation of heavy-duty vehicles. Dr Atif Askar (TRATON) noted that battery-electric trucks are a very effective option to decarbonise road transport, considering that fuel costs represent around half of a diesel truck’s TCO. Electric trucks would also be suitable for long-haul transport, but this would need a strong uptake of charging stations along the EU roads, fitted with Megawatt Charging System (MCS) chargers in order to recharge during the legal resting break of drivers. Speakers however recognised that battery-electric trucks would struggle to match the flexibility of today’s road transport, which would require mid-term solutions, such as using sustainable biofuels or synthetic fuels.
Concluding the event, Mr Ertug, Rapporteur on the AFIR proposal, emphasised that ambitious targets with regards to alternative charging/refuelling infrastructure will be crucial to help the uptake of zero-emission vehicles and vessels, and called on MEPs to adopt a ambitious position before the negotiations with the Council on the proposal.