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Parliamentary questions
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4 December 2019
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Kateřina Konečná
 Subject: Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles – trolleybuses

On 20 June 2019, Directive (EU) 2019/1161 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending the Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles was published. The Directive introduces quotas for the procurement of clean road transport vehicles which must be met by urban transport operators as part of fulfilling their public service obligations. A number of urban transport operators in Central and Eastern Europe operate trolleybuses that reflect the intention of the Directive to limit the use of buses that burn fossil fuels. However, these operators are facing a situation in which trolleybuses are not considered to meet the new objectives of the Directive, as they do not fall under the category of road vehicles under national legislation, but are categorised as rail vehicles, even though they move alongside road vehicles and represent an alternative to buses. This is a form of inequality that discriminates against a fully-fledged, emission-free alternative that is even better than electric buses, since the weight of the trolleybuses is lower than buses by virtue of the fact that they do not carry their energy source (batteries) around. Trolleybuses therefore have higher energy efficiency.

In view of the above, it is natural for trolleybuses to enjoy the same status as other electric road vehicles in the development of clean road transport. In addition, during Trilogue negotiations on the Directive, the Commission stated on several occasions that the purchase of trolleybuses was envisaged in accordance with their classification as clean vehicles.

Can the Commission ensure that trolleybuses enjoy the same status as electric buses, for example through adopting implementing or delegated acts?

Last updated: 10 December 2019Legal notice