1. A short introduction of your organisation.
Founded in 1904, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) brings together leading national motoring organisations from 146 countries worldwide and is the governing body for world motor sport. The FIA Region I office, based in Brussels, is a consumer body representing 103 Motoring and Touring Clubs and their over 36 million members from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A key objective of the FIA is to promote user interests in mobility-related European policy making as well as in European research and innovation. FIA Region I uses its know-how and network to raise awareness on issues related to road safety, affordability, environmental sustainability, and efficient mobility. FIA Region I together with its members contributes to debates on improving urban mobility, guaranteeing legal protection, and promoting sustainable tourism, and has contributed to a series of European projects, addressing various mobility-related issues such as alternative propulsion systems, electric mobility, and the environmental impact.
2. What is your task/responsibility in the ELVITEN project?
FIA Region I has participated in ELVITEN through user engagement, communication, and dissemination activities. FIA Region I has managed all the communication tools and channels that target users, policymakers, stakeholders, service providers and manufacturers. It has worked closely with the demonstration cities and other project partners to implement a communication strategy plan that ensures the uptake and communication of ELVITEN project to the widest audience possible. FIA Region I led an awareness campaign #LetsGoElectric that targeted users in six ELVITEN demonstrations cities and aimed to inform them about the use and functionalities of EL-Vs. Additionally, FIA Region I strongly supported via dedicated campaigns the demonstration stage of the project and encouraged citizens to join ELVITEN activities in Bari, Berlin, Genoa, Rome, Malaga, and Trikala for both private transport and light urban delivery.
3. What is (was) your interest in joining the ELVITEN project?
The sustainability of transport is a major concern all over Europe. In order to safeguard mobility and the liveability of cities and regions, FIA Region is contributing to a series of research and innovation projects that are developing, testing and demonstrating new technologies and mobility solutions. The participation of FIA Region I in ELVITEN goes in line with the Association’s will to increase its involvement in the field of smart and sustainable mobility that is positively impacting Europe’s cities. Further to demonstrate the usability of electric mobility in everyday life, ELVITEN innovates in involving users into the testing of alternative light vehicles and making them experience new means to be mobile. The project is also a laboratory for policy makers offering real-world demonstration on how mobility could evolve in future years.
4. What is your opinion on Electric-Light Vehicles?
The number of Alternative Fuels Vehicles (AFV), battery electric and hybrid vehicles, is expected to increase over the coming years. However, from a consumer perspective, many uncertainties around AFV remain, which could hamper wider uptake: the deployment of AFV should ensure similar levels of comfort and convenience to what consumers have experienced with traditionally fuelled vehicles.
Therefore, it is necessary that adequate amounts of charging and fuelling infrastructure are put in place across Europe, as this would help increase consumers’ confidence in these vehicles. In parallel, information about vehicle running costs, taxation benefits, and emissions performance should be improved to raise consumer confidence.
At the same time, users also need to investigate the most appropriate type of alternatively fuelled vehicles, their respective advantages and disadvantages and best ways to using them. Electric propulsion and the need for specific recharging infrastructure calls for careful consideration, planning and integration in future mobility systems.
5. Could you explain the impact of EL-Vs on urban mobility?
The uptake of AFV, including electric vehicles within the mobility mix, may lead to a reduction of air pollution and carbon emissions across the EU, and especially in the urban environment.
Cities present a crucial concentration of people and economic activity that produce a significant part of European wealth. Urban mobility needs coherent development plans that minimise downsides of transport systems, while safeguarding citizens’ mobility as a key lever for growth. The promotion of alternative propulsion systems including electric vehicles can be an element of strategies to make transport more sustainable. When it comes to specific implementation measures, the EU should however leave this matter up to the Member States, respecting the principle of subsidiarity, while ensuring information about good practices.
Furthermore, good transport infrastructure is a condition for sustainable mobility and ensuring smooth and safe traffic. To ensure the uptake of electric vehicles, the EU policy needs to appropriately support road infrastructure maintenance and development, as well as ensuring an adequate amount of fast and low charging public infrastructure.
6. What do you think about the future market for urban mobility?
Co-modality must play an important role in the future of mobility and urban mobility in particular. Moving towards MaaS, public transport needs to become a lot more efficient and better integrated with park/bike-and-ride, sharing and pooling, and (company) mobility management. As public transport is at the heart of MaaS platforms, it is vital to guarantee open access to timetables’ information, and that there is a wholesale- market for the use of public transport so that MaaS providers can offer new tailor-made services to consumers. Electric light vehicles being shared or not can play an important role in creating a wide and diverse transport offer.
Besides, all-around connectivity as well as Intelligent Transport Systems offer a wealth of opportunities to improve traffic in cities supporting better integration of the transport offer. FIA Region I supports the deployment of these technologies to make urban mobility safer, more affordable, more efficient, and more sustainable for all.