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Clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles
Sectors of Transport:
Transport, Environment and climate change, Internal market, Clean & urban transport and sustainable transport, Tackling climate change, Single market for goods, Cleaner transport, Motor vehicles, Road & air transport, Motor vehicles, trailers & other vehicles
It aims at promoting and stimulating the development of a market for clean and energy-efficient vehicles in the European Union (EU).
As amended by Directive (EU) 2019/1161, it sets minimum national targets for the procurement of clean vehicles. The targets are defined as a minimum share of clean vehicles in the aggregate public authorities and certain public transport operators across a Member State.
As amended by Directive (EU) 2019/1161, the directive applies to contracts for the procurement of certain road transport vehicles (cars, vans, trucks and buses) and services, by contracting authorities, contracting entities and operators of public service obligations under a public service contract.
The amending directive extended the application of the directive so that it now covers procurement through:
contracts for the purchase, lease, rent and hire-purchase of vehicles;
service contracts for public road passenger transport;
service contracts for public road transport services, special-purpose road passenger-transport services, non-scheduled passenger transport, refuse collection services, and mail and parcel transport and delivery.
Amending Directive (EU) 2019/1161 also introduced a new definition of a ‘clean vehicle’*.
Minimum procurement targets
Directive 2009/33/EC, as amended by Directive (EU) 2019/1161, sets minimum public procurement targets for light-duty vehicles (cars and vans), trucks and buses for 2025 and 2030. In the case of buses, half of the targets have to be met with zero-emission vehicles (battery electric or hydrogen buses). These targets are set out in the directive’s annex.
For each Member State, a different target is set for light-duty vehicles, trucks and buses. These targets are calculated as a minimum percentage of clean vehicles in the total number of vehicles procured through public procurement in each Member State, over two 5-year periods: 2021–2025 and 2026–2030. Member States have to ensure that the targets are met, but they have full flexibility in how they distribute the effort across different contracting authorities and contracting entities.
Sharing best practice
The European Commission encourages the sharing of knowledge and best practice between Member States with a view to promoting the purchase of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles.
Several initiatives are under way that ensure the directive is implemented. These include:
The directive has applied since 4 June 2009 and had to become law in the Member States by 4 December 2010.
The changes introduced by amending Directive (EU) 2019/1161, including the introduction of a ‘clean vehicle’ definition and the setting of minimum national targets for their procurement, have applied since 2 August 2019, and had to become law in the Member States by 2 August 2021.
A clean light-duty vehicle (e.g. car, van) is defined on the basis of its CO2 emissions (the applicable emission limits are laid down in Table 2 of the directive’s annex).
A clean heavy-duty vehicle (e.g. bus, truck) is defined on the basis of the use of alternative fuels, as defined in Directive 2014/94/EU (see summary). A separate definition is provided for zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles.
Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (OJ L 120, 15.5.2009, pp. 5–12).
Successive amendments to Directive 2009/33/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (OJ L 307, 28.10.2014, pp. 1–20).
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the application of Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles (COM (2013) 214 final, 18.4.2013).
Commission Notice on the application of Articles 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of clean road transport vehicles in support of low-emission mobility 2020/C 352/01 (OJ C 352, 22.10.2020, pp. 1–12).
last update 10.02.2022
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