The EU Transport and Mobility Update is a format that aims to provide news on the latest policies, events and trends in the European transport and mobility sector. Compiled by GIZ, it provides insights in technology, sustainability and innovation by highlighting recent articles. Ultimately, this format is meant to foster exchange and dialogue on advancements as well as best practices in the European transport and mobility sector.
All content has been prepared with the greatest possible care and is provided in good faith. The assumptions, views, and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Digital revolution in freight transport: test train starts journey through Europe
A train with new types of digital automatic coupling (DAC) started a trial run that will last several months. The German federal minister for digital affairs and transport, Dr Volker Wissing, gave the train the symbolic departure command for its journey across Europe.
The DAC is an essential part of the strategy to digitalize freight trains. It is thus a decisive lever in making rail more competitive with road transport. The DAC makes it possible to couple and decouple freight wagons automatically without any manual labour involved. Thus, faster, automated shunting processes will be possible. All in all, the capacity of transshipment stations increases significantly. Freight trains can become longer and heavier with the new coupling technology. More importantly, they can travel at higher speeds than before, allowing them to “float along” in rail traffic. This increases the capacity of the rail network. The DAC will make a significant contribution to meeting the European climate targets.
Digital platform for unmanned aerial vehicles launched in Germany
The “Digital Platform Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (dipul) has been launched and is available at https://www.dipul.de. Developed on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV), dipul provides all important information for the use of drones in Germany.
The platform bundles all information, rules and procedures for drone operations in Germany centrally on one website. A map tool shows the geographical flight areas online. This way, users know where and how they are allowed to safely fly their drones. Further functions are to be added to the platform by the end of the year, including a tool for online applications and permits, weather data, and a route planner for special-use drones.
German passenger car market up at the start of the year: first growth in production and exports in seven months
In the first month of the year, a total of 184,100 new passenger cars were registered in Germany, 8 percent more than in the same month last year. This is the first market growth since June last year.
New electric vehicle registrations rose by 8 percent in January to 39,810 units. E-cars thus accounted for 21.6 percent of total new registrations. New registrations of pure battery electric passenger vehicles were up 28 percent, while plug-in hybrids were down 8 percent.
After seven consecutive months of double-digit declines, passenger car production in Germany was growing again in January. German manufacturers produced 256,300 passenger cars at the start of the year (+8 percent). Of these, 189,100 brand-new passenger cars were delivered to customers around the world (+6 percent). At the same time, the production level from January 2020 was still undercut by more than 20 percent.
Source (German): Deutscher Pkw-Markt zum Jahresauftakt im Plus | VDA
For an energy transition in road transport: new support system for electric heavy-duty vehicles in France
Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, French Minister Delegate in charge of Transport, gathered stakeholders of the road transport sector (manufacturers, operators, professional organizations and energy providers) within the framework of a Ministerial Council for the development and innovation in transport, dedicated to the energy transition of the sector. On this occasion, the Minister unveiled the terms of new grants aimed at supporting up to €65 million of heavy-duty electric vehicle projects throughout France.
This call for projects will:
- be open to all players contributing to the deployment of electric mobility and freight transport;
- aim to support the emergence of “clean” solutions, particularly for short-distance and urban logistics;
- include the retrofitting of combustion vehicles into electric vehicles.
Hydrogen-powered inland vessels: German Maritime Center presents pilot study and draft regulations
The conversion from conventional to renewable fuels is an urgent task for the maritime industry. The study presents a proposal for technical regulations and requirements for inland vessels that run on green hydrogen (H2). In Europe, inland vessels are currently not allowed to run on H2 because it is not approved as a fuel.
On inland vessels, the use of green H2 as an energy carrier, compared to trucks, is more feasible and can contribute to CO2 reduction. The first green H2 inland vessels (pilot projects) are already operating under special and individual permits.
If inland vessels are to be operated with green H2 in the future, the existing regulations will have to be adapted. The draft rules, which are both oriented to the possibilities of control technology and formulated in a way that is open to technology, contain a large number of proposals and indications.
Source (German): Wasserstoffbetriebene Binnenschiffe › DMZ Maritim (dmz-maritim.de)
Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda awards €1 billion to municipalities to decarbonize and digitize urban mobility
The Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) has awarded €1 billion of European recovery funds to 170 municipalities and two supra-municipal entities to decarbonize and digitize urban mobility.
The objective of the program is to contribute to improving air quality in cities and the decarbonization of mobility by articulating a reliable, affordable, attractive and zero-emission urban public transport system and promoting active mobility, so as to further limit the use of private motor vehicles.
The distribution of funds by type of action is as follows:
- 40% will be allocated to actions aimed at the development of active mobility, such as the construction of bicycle lanes, pedestrianisation of streets or the installation of bicycle rental points.
- 20% will be invested in promoting zero-emission fleets, financing the acquisition of up to 650 zero-emission city buses and more than 45 electric vehicles for waste collection.
- 17% will finance improvements in the efficiency of public transport, including the reinforcement of urban rail services, the delivery of goods in the last mile and road traffic calming.
Source (Spanish): Mitma adjudica 1.000 millones de euros del fondo de recuperación a 170 municipios y 2 entes supramunicipales para descarbonizar y digitalizar la movilidad urbana | Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana
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