The European Commission has singled out decarbonisation as a key objective for the European Union and in November last year it published a proposal on the Clean Vehicle Directive, aiming to boost the electrification of European mobility. For public authorities, however, how can public procurement be used to encourage the uptake of alternatively fuelled vehicles in Europe? This was the focus point of the most recent SPICE webinar, held on 24th January and attended by twenty-six participants. The webinar included a general introduction into the SPICE project and two presentations – one from Mr Dario Dubolino (European Commission, DG MOVE) and the other from Ms Eva Sunnerstedt (City of Stockholm).
Mr Dario Dubolino (European Commission, DG MOVE) spoke about the revision of the Clean Vehicle Directive (Directive 2009/33/EC) and how it aims to accelerate the public procurement of clean vehicles, including low- and zero-emission or other alternatively fuelled vehicles, throughout the European Union. When revising the Directive, the European Commission carried out an Impact Assessment, taking into account five different options – from repealing the status quo or not changing the scope of the Directive to extending the scope to include more vehicles and introducing minimum procurement targets. According to the Commission’s proposal for the revised Directive, contracting authorities and certain operators must now take into account energy and environmental impacts when purchasing road vehicles. Ultimately, the proposal, according to the European Commission, will help build a stronger European market for alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructures – all of which are key for transport competitiveness and economic growth.
Ms Eva Sunnerstedt (City of Stockholm) provided some practical examples of the procurement of clean vehicles in Sweden. In her presentation, she emphasized the need for a step-by-step approach and the importance of keeping a long-term perspective in mind. She said that incentives, as well as subsidies and tax breaks, have also proven to be helpful in encouraging procurement of clean vehicles. The City of Stockholm has decided that all vehicles that are bought for the city fleet in Stockholm should be clean vehicles. This has become an integral requirement for new procurement processes. So far, 1,000 vehicles have already been delivered through this procurement type and experience has shown that it is easier to act together. For public organisations, procuring together saves time and money, whereas for smaller municipalities it is easier to pull knowledge together in a joint procurement process. Overall, it is important to raise awareness, increase knowledge, and be flexible in the tendering criteria. This is exactly what the SPICE project aims to do by bringing procurers together in Common Buyers Groups.
Next SPICE webinar: 22 February 2018, 2:00-3:00PM – How to use Joint procurement and Common Buyers Groups to encourage innovation in public procurement? Register here.