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Hybrid, clean and electric vehicles

Hybrid, clean and electric vehicles

Increasing the use of alternative fuels and of clean and energy-efficient vehicles as well as enhancing their integration into the urban transport system are key to reducing local air and noise pollution. These measures also curb global greenhouse gas emissions, contribute to the health of citizens and decrease dependency on fossil fuels.

In the field of clean fuels and vehicles CIVITAS cities have worked on clean fuels and fuelling infrastructure; cleaner fleets; and hybrid, clean and electric vehicles. This highlight focuses on the last category.

When embarking on a programme to popularise cleaner fuels, it is advisable, and perhaps easiest, to start with captive vehicle fleets (e.g. public transport, taxis or car sharing companies).This allows a city to work through some of the technical and logistical problems of supplying vehicles with alternative fuels. Fleet managers normally have the capacity to develop a purchasing policy, and having a captive fleet can provide the critical mass to obtain better prices. The implementation of cleaner vehicles by public bodies creates the initial demand for fuelling facilities. Once they are installed, cleaner vehicles can be more easily promoted to individual car users and private fleet managers.

Experiences have shown that introducing cleaner vehicles and fuels in a city can require up to four years. This may seem like a long time, but after implementation of the measure the benefits can be seen immediately (better air quality, enhanced image of public transport,etc.).

For this reason, the CIVITAS Initiative has realised 10 innovative measures in nine different cities on hybrid, clean and electric vehicles from 2002 to 2012. Read the CIVITAS highlight to learn about  some of the most successful and eye-catching among these to inspire other European cities.