Driving and parking patterns of European car drivers by EU Commission 2012

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Personal mobility has evolved as a distinctive trait of modernity in Europe. Allowing citizens to move faster, farther, more safely and comfortably has been a key policy goal in the last decades and still is. Within this process, car has played a major role. The progress of individual mobility has been strongly interlinked with the history of mass motorization. This history can be considered a successful one. Its success, however, has increased personal mobility tot the extent that its undesired effects became more and more significant. Congestion, pollution, accidents, traffic fatalities, greenhouse gas emissions can be quoted as the major ones. The European Union has started a number of policy initiatives to reduce the negative effects of cars while at the same time fostering the competitiveness of the European transport sector.

In March 2011 the new Transport White Paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a Competitive and Resource-efficient Transport System (European Commission 2011a) was published. As a very important element, this new White Paper builds on the European objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 80 to 95% until 2050 compared to 1990 (European Commission 2011b). Transport in the White
Paper is expected to contribute to these GHG reductions by decreasing its GHG emissions by at least 60% compared to 1990, while maintaining a competitive and resource-efficient transport system.

One key instrument within this strategy is technology. In the automotive sector, research aims at developing more parsimonious conventional vehicles or even (on site) zero emissions cars. Within this effort, electric-drive vehicles (EDVs) are on the forefront of non-conventional powertrain technology developments. Nevertheless, in some respects they still lag behind conventional vehicles, namely for costs, driving range and refueling speed, and further progress is needed. Thus, in the short and medium term the penetration of EDVs in the market would depend not only on their cost, but also on how they can fit driver needs despite the fact that their features are not the same as those of conventional cars. At the same time, once an EDVs share in the fleet increases a certain portion of electric power will be requested daily for vehicle charging. The amount of power requested would depend primarily on the number of EDVs together with the time period of when this power is requested.

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