EU takes first step in translating Green Deal to better mobility for people’s daily lives

PRESS RELEASE - 09.12.2020

The success of the EU’s promising , unveiled today, will depend on legislative follow-up that should make it easier to travel from A to B in a sustainable manner. 


The most important points for European consumers are the announcement of:

  • The objective to place at least 30 million zero-emission vehicles on Europe’s roads by 2030.
  • A plan[1] to make electric car charging more convenient in terms of pricing and payment.
  • An action plan to boost long-distance and cross-border passenger rail services.
  • Measures to support information, booking systems and tickets that combine various transport modes – also known as ‘multimodality’.
  • The use of price signals (such as carbon pricing, polluter-pays principle) to incentivise more sustainable choices.

Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, commented:

On long-distance trains:

“It is good to see the EU recognises that it must be easier for people to travel across Europe by train. This requires more connections across national borders. Equally important is that a consumer can make an informed choice, compare prices, and book a journey that involves multiple operators and even modes of transport. Common reservation and ticketing systems cannot go amiss.”

On electric cars[2]:

“Charging an electric car must be easy as fuelling a petrol one. It is high time policy makers untangle the maze of charging tariffs and payment methods. Operators ought to always display tariffs in price per kilowatt hour and allow payment by commonly available debit cards.”

On price signals:

“Support for climate policy depends on its benefit for people’s daily lives. Price signals can promote sustainable choices and discourage less sustainable ones. But it is important to assess any measure’s effect on households, people on lower incomes or those living in sparsely populated areas before going ahead with it.

“Price signals may become punitive if they trap people without providing alternatives. Any negative effects must be balanced by for example incentives to help people replace their petrol car with an electric one, or premiums allowing them to reimburse public transport subscriptions.”      

[1] By way of reviewing the existing EU Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive.
[2] In October, German consumer organisation Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband three charging station operators about their non-transparent pricing.