Brussels, Belgium – European automakers have submitted research and development plans to the European Union (EU) to help shape the new European Green Car Initiative.

Part of the European economic recovery plan, the Green Car Initiative is intended to allocate €5 billion through a public private partnership to bolster innovation in the automotive sector and sustain its focus on environmental progress. The initiative complements the European Clean Transport Facility which, through the European Investment Bank, serves to provide more immediate financial relief to the automotive sector.

The initiative concentrates on long-term R&D, largely combining existing projects under a clear policy focus and underlining the importance of a joint approach between industries and policy makers. It will focus on mobility and transport, including information and communication technologies, and Intelligent Transport Systems; energy and environment, including renewable, secure, sufficient and environmentally compatible energy sources, and the electrification of vehicles and the road transport system as a whole; the safety of new vehicle concepts and types, and the development of cooperative systems for safety and efficiency based on communication between vehicles and infrastructure; and affordability and competitiveness, including achieving green objectives at an affordable level. All areas are equally important, and none can be considered independent from the others.

Funding for the project will be spread over four years, with €1 billion coming from the existing EU program for R&D funding, including €500 million to be financed from the industry. The remaining €4 billion will become available in European Investment Bank Loans to individual projects from manufacturers and suppliers, which usually cover 50 per cent of the total investment.

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