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Clean and emission-free freight traffic in the city must be included in the European 'Green deal' announced by Frans Timmermans. Six leading Dutch companies, together with other European companies, are calling on a Dutch and European trade association and Nature & Environment.

European climate commissioner Frans Timmermans previously announced that he would come up with a European 'Green Deal' within the first 100 days of his term. The goal of this deal is that European greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2 will be more than halved by 2030. 

The aforementioned parties request Timmermans today a letter extra attention to the efforts (actions and resources) to achieve emission-free freight transport in cities. 

'Following on from the electric car, now is the time to make trucks more sustainable. This call shows that the business community sees the urgency and is prepared to take steps, but does need support from the national and European government, 'says Marjolein Demmers, director of Nature & Environment.

Companies want support for clean trucks

The companies, including Unilever and Vos Logistics, believe in the potential of emission-free freight transport in cities to reduce CO2 emissions, improve air quality and improve the quality of life in cities. The availability of clean freight vehicles is very important to be able to meet the agreement in the climate agreement for the introduction of the zero emission zones for city logistics in 30 to 40 cities in the Netherlands by 2025. The parties ask for the right support to be able to take concrete steps in the coming years. 

“Like many other transport companies, we aspire emission-free transport. Technically it is feasible, but we depend on the supply of good and affordable electric vehicles. Due to regulations and financial incentives, governments can determine the pace of this transition to an important extent, ”says CEO of Vos Logistics Frank Verhoeven.

State of affairs in the Netherlands

The Dutch government will stimulate the transition to zero freight transport emissions in 2020. Companies can apply for a purchase subsidy that will reimburse at least 40% of the additional costs related to a fossil vehicle. At the moment, according to the CBS, 135 emission-free trucks and over 3000 electric vans are driving in the Netherlands. That is less than 1% of all company cars. This is partly because there are almost only test and converted trucks available. With regard to electric vans, the range of different models is limited. A wider range of vehicles is therefore crucial.

“In line with the Climate Agreement, TLN is committed to the switch to zero emission supplies for the larger cities. The electric trucks to do that must of course be built. And for reasonable prices. ”, Says Elisabeth Post, chairman of TLN.

That is why it is important that Brussels sets strict standards, as a result of which many more electric trucks will be produced. At the same time, we need to get started quickly in the Netherlands in order to have the charging infrastructure in order in time. E-trucks cannot drive in the city center without thick cables in the ground.

The Dutch companies that support the appeal to Timmermans are: Van der Wal, VOS Logistics, Breytner, Unilever, De Rooy and FastNed.

Also read: € 18,5 million European subsidy for rail connections