Press Release

TRAN discusses the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure and weight and dimensions

18 September 2013

During the TRAN Committee of 16 September, Rapporteur Carlo Fidanza (EPP/IT) welcomed the Commission's proposal on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure as necessary to reduce Europe's dependence on oil and improve the diversification of energy supply.

Some of the Rapporteur’s amendments strengthen the national policy frameworks for the deployment of alternative fuels and their infrastructure.

MEPs expressed a general consensus on the Rapporteur’s amendments and stresses that market should be the driving force for the build-up of infrastructure but EU and national incentives and public support would be necessary in the initial phase. The vote in TRAN Committee is scheduled for 14 November.

Furthermore, on the next day, MEPs had an exchange of views on the proposed revision of the “Weight and Dimensions” Directive, which aims at improving road safety and intermodal transport, facilitating enforcement of vehicles that infringe the maximum weights and dimensions, and allowing manufacturers to develop more aerodynamic, fuel-efficient and safer vehicles.

Rapporteur Jörg Leichtfried (S&D/AT) recognised positives aspects of the proposal, such as improving cabs’ aerodynamics or preselected and targeted checks. However, he criticised the Commission for not having assessed the impact of megatrucks on safety, modal shift and infrastructure before adopting the proposal.

MEPs seemed to be split on different issues and, in particular, on the one concerning the cross-border circulation of megatrucks. Some MEPs agreed with the Rapporteur's view leaving up to the individual Member States to decide whether to allow the circulation of megatrucks on their territory. Other MEPs favoured a corridor approach meaning that megatrucks would only be allowed under certain conditions and only on specific certified roads.

The draft report will be presented on 5 November and the deadline for amendments is 20 November. The vote in TRAN Committee on the draft report is expected in February 2014.

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