By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
Last week, the European Commission announced that it will propose legislation designed to reduce operation of “oil-fuelled” cars in urban areas by 50% for 2030 and to “phase them out by 2050.”
They are aiming at cities free of cars by the middle of the century, and are willing to use monetary incentives, improved infrastructure, and support of alternative systems, to achieve it. The Commission has already stated its intent to support the growth of electric vehicles and their use in urban areas.
Oil, as both diesel and gasoline, is used to fuel about 95% of vehicle trips in European countries. The Commission also noted that EU transport accounts for a quarter of CO2 emissions, and that amount is predicted to increase by 2030.
The vehicle population is particularly dense in semi-urban and city areas, and trips are often short. Once in place, the ambitious regulations will reduce CO2 emissions from transportation by 60% supporters say.
Most European countries have well developed bus, rail and ferry systems and the proposed restrictions on personal vehicles are designed to encourage travelers to use alternate means.
Discussions of improving river transport for both freight and passengers are also underway.
Much of this plan is designed to change user behavior, primarily through additional taxes and penalties. Europe already has strong “polluter pays” doctrines, and vehicles that don’t meet the toughest standards will be taxed more.
Over the road freight and cargo transport are also targeted, with the intent to move shipments over 180 miles (300km) to rail or water. Taxes and cross-border fees would be increased for truck shipments above that distance. Many European countries are not much bigger than some U.S. states, and a long-distance truck may cross several national boundaries and have to pay each time.
Naturally, not everyone Is pleased with the proposal (and it is just that – proposed, but not law.)
Many wonder where the funding for the incentives will come from as some countries within the Economic Community will need many years to recover from financial crises of their own. Some wonder if it can be done at all, let alone successfully. And others wonder what a city with no cars would look like.
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.