European plan to become carbon neutral revealed

An action plan to unlock the potential of electric vehicles (EVs) and battery technology and enable Europe to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 has been unveiled.

The proposals are designed to increase renewable energy generation, EV ownership and the integration of vehicles with power grids across European countries.

The project has been detailed in a new white paper, led by Nissan, as part of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), a programme supported by the European Commission bringing together industry, cities and researchers.

The white paper covers the pivotal role battery technology will play, the need to ensure batteries have a full second life as mobile or static storage units, and the ways to tackle the current blockers to delivering energy systems such as vehicle-to-grid.

The practical recommendations for authorities to rethink how mobility and energy policies are designed and implemented include:

  • Introducing vehicle incentives which target mid-range EV models to drive uptake in mass-market segments
  • Using low-emissions zones within urban areas to drive behavioural change
  • Public authorities leading by example by increasing the amount of electrified vehicles in public fleets, including buses and taxis
  • Simplifying procedures for smart charging installation
  • Introducing tax incentives based on environmental impact and the amount of energy sent back to the grid from EVs.
  • Having mandatory or incentivised installation of renewable and energy efficiency technologies, as well as smart charging points, in new commercial buildings
  • Promoting the financial benefits available through integrating electric vehicle ownership with solar panels and energy storage in the home
  • Integrating policy making between mobility and energy, rather than dealing with both in isolation

Friederike Kienitz, Nissan Europe vice president for communications, legal, external and government affairs, said: “To meet the challenges Europe faces we need a fundamental rethink on how mobility and energy policies are designed.

“While Nissan brought mass battery technology to Europe when it pioneered the Nissan LEAF 10 years ago, it is clear from this paper that this is about more than just Nissan or electric vehicles. There is much work to be done if Europe is to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 and this white paper sets out how to get there at the national, regional and municipal level.”