The coronavirus crisis brought our economy to a sudden halt, but it also highlighted the vital role of freight transport and logistics in supplying the French with essential products without any major disruption. In the same way, passenger transport faces major challenges in reconciling ecological transition and growing demands for mobility.
The Industrial Vehicle sector is facing many challenges, particularly in relation to the regulatory context, which will have a major impact on tomorrow’s energy mix.
The emphasis is therefore on alternative energies, and manufacturers of industrial vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles have been forced to review their vision and developments in order to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint.
The transportation sector is often stigmatized as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. This is why, in order to achieve environmental and air quality objectives, it is essential to undertake profound transformations in both passenger and freight transport.
It is in this sense that the European Commission presented its “Strategy for Sustainable and Intelligent Mobility” on 9 December 2020.
According to the EU executive, “this strategy lays the foundations for the EU’s transport system to achieve its ecological and digital transformation and to increase its resilience to future crises. As stated in the Green Deal for Europe, the outcome is a “90% reduction in emissions by 2050 through an intelligent, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.
In order to meet its climate commitments, the European Commission plans the following agenda:
- At least 30 million zero-emission vehicles will be on European roads
- 100 European cities will be climate neutral.
- Collective trips scheduled for less than 500 km should be carbon neutral.
- Automated mobility will be deployed on a large scale.
By 2050 :
- Almost all new cars, vans, buses and heavy-duty vehicles will be zero emission.
Energy mix: what solutions for the evolution of the fleet?
In order to achieve the objectives set, it is necessary to take into consideration not only the sales of new vehicles but also the realities of the vehicle fleet in circulation. Modernization of the fleet towards more environmentally friendly engines also requires consideration of the uses to which these vehicles are put. Several solutions can be envisaged.
While hydrogen has undeniable advantages for the future of “decarbonization” of mobility, certain constraints still need to be considered, such as the cost of vehicles and hydrogen production and, above all, the method of producing green hydrogen. In 2020, 95% of the 900,000 tons of hydrogen consumed annually by industry will come from fossil fuels. The production capacity will also have to be considerably increased to cover the needs of transportation.
The electric mode also shows a promising record, but with the problem of costs and future energy resources that must not be overlooked. The autonomy and charging times of vehicles are also elements to be taken into consideration when choosing a motorization, depending on the use that will be made of the vehicle.
Bio CNG also has a number of advantages, particularly in terms of production capacity and immediate use. It also allows to propose a virtuous profile of circular economy via methanization. However, it has the current disadvantage of a Crit’Air 1 classification, a key point in the evolution of future urban traffic conditions.
Even if everyone agrees on the need to make significant progress on greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants linked to the use of fossil fuels, another priority for all players in the sector is to lay the foundations for a sustainable and viable economic model for the mobility of people and goods.
All energies, but also all complementary solutions for optimizing flows, will have to be implemented and encouraged in order to effectively and sustainably manage the energy transition in transportation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown that it is vital for the EU to preserve the proper functioning of the single market. The crisis has highlighted the essential role of transport, as well as the social, health and economic costs of drastically limiting or even stopping the free movement of people, goods and services. Preserving supply chains and a coordinated European approach to connectivity and transport activities are essential to overcome crises and strengthen strategic autonomy.
Digitization will become an indispensable driver for modernizing the entire system, making it more fluid and efficient. Europe must also use digitization and automation to further increase levels of safety, security, reliability, and convenience, thereby maintaining the EU’s leading position in equipment manufacturing and transport services and improving our global competitiveness through efficient and resilient supply chains.
The transport ministers of the 28 EU member states have defined a common policy line on the development of autonomous vehicles.
Safety which is a complementary issue to the energy transition
As of January 1, 2021, all heavy vehicles (goods vehicles and passenger vehicles) will be required to display a signage device on their vehicle so that it is visible on the sides and rear of the vehicle.
The implementation, since the summer of 2020, of the Vehicle and Engine Market Surveillance Service (VEMS) also participates in the rise of the vehicle safety requirement.
The recruitment of qualified personnel and the training of employees are priority issues for the economic development of the sector.
The Industrial and Urban Vehicle Sector is a source of employment. As such, it seeks to encourage vocations. If we take into account the road freight transport, industrial construction and industrial vehicle repair sectors, the Industrial Vehicle Sector employs approximately 550,000 people. The road transport sector has the greatest need for manpower.
On the bangs of road transport companies, comes the sale and repair of industrial vehicles, which employs 24,170 people, with an average age of 39 years, to maintain an estimated fleet of 400,000 trucks (excluding light commercial vehicles). Industrial bodywork, an essential and complementary link to the two previous sectors, represents 1,000 companies. Most of the companies are recruiting and sometimes have difficulties to complete their workforce. Currently, there are at least 40,000 jobs available immediately. As a result, each company implements its own strategy, while professional organizations offer support on this key issue.
A changing ecosystem
In December 2019, the Loi d’Orientation des Mobilités (LOM) was enacted in an attempt to address this challenge, through three major axes:
- improve governance in terms of mobility to better meet the daily needs of citizens, territories and companies
- succeed in the revolution of new mobilities
- develop cleaner and more active mobility
These transformations offer significant opportunities to improve the quality of life and, for European industry in all value chains, to modernize, create quality jobs, develop new products and services, improve competitiveness and play a leading role at the global level. Among CARA’s members, you will find equipment manufacturers and subcontractors of the French automotive industry.
Among CARA members, you will find equipment manufacturers and subcontractors of the French automotive industry.
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