Maciej Mazur became the new president of the European Association for Electromobility (AVERE) in June.
He is also the current CEO of the Polish Alternative Fuels Association (PSPA).
The vision for the future of electromobility and the pending regulations for its development depend on the composition of the European Parliament after several elections involving member countries.
This is the case in Spain, for instance, where the Popular Party (PP) won, potentially impacting electric mobility plans.
Following are Mazur’s words in conversation with Mobility Portal Europe.
What will be your imprint on the Association during your presidency?
My ambition as president is to harness AVERE’s strengths and transform it into a highly active association leading the new mobility paradigm in Europe.
My goal is to bring the lessons and experiences we’ve gained from PSPA in Poland, where we have nearly 250 members and 30 employees.
We’ve worked on numerous projects to shape, promote, and educate, and I’d like to bring this momentum to AVERE.
What potential do you see in AVERE?
I envision AVERE as a highly active association, a leader in the new mobility landscape, representing three key groups: national associations, companies, and the scientific community.
Today, our national associations are robust, representing thousands of members and users across Europe.
The presence of key actors from various sectors within our membership is also growing.
We are committed to leveraging their expertise to advance our goals.
Lastly, we are deeply integrated into the scientific realm, basing our actions on research and development.
By harnessing the potential of these three pillars, I believe AVERE can become a significant force in the transition to electromobility.
What objectives has AVERE set for the second half of 2023?
In the upcoming year, our aim is to focus on the timely completion and implementation of the most important elements of the «Fit for 55» package.
We anticipate that this period will be crucial, not just in terms of regulatory milestones, but also in the context of upcoming elections.
Given the significance of these events, being prepared and proactive is essential.
We need to be mindful of certain negative trends that could hinder the momentum of zero-emission transport development.
How do elections in different EU countries impact this?
In elections across several member states, groups that, while not outright denying climate change, advocate for at least limiting the intensity of support for environmental policies, are gaining increasing traction.
We should assume that as a result of next year’s elections, the composition of the European Parliament will be less enthusiastic about ambitious decarbonization actions.
How will you respond?
This means that an organization like AVERE needs to undertake an even greater number of actions.
Our task is to make various stakeholders understand that zero-emission transport isn’t just a necessary direction to effectively counter climate change, but also a significant economic opportunity for the Union and individual member states.
What expectations does AVERE have regarding the effective implementation of AFIR?
AVERE has substantial expectations regarding the effective implementation of AFIR, given its significant role in our field.
First and foremost, we need to fully understand every detail of AFIR, aligning our understanding with that of the authors to ensure smooth application.
Secondly, successful AFIR implementation across all European countries is imperative.
Our goal is to avoid a two-speed Europe in AFIR adoption and strive for its equitable and effective implementation across all member countries.
Is a regulatory change expected regarding the phase-out of combustion engines in heavy vehicles? Should a deadline be set?
Legal stability is of utmost importance in this matter.
Stakeholders need to be well-informed about imminent changes to be adequately prepared.
Discussions alone are not sufficient; we need concrete actions.
Europe needs to set a bold agenda if it wishes to play a pivotal role in the global market.
To that end, it’s crucial to establish a clear deadline for phasing out combustion engines in heavy vehicles, both for planning and investment purposes.
How do you foresee the proposal regarding the weight of electric vehicles progressing? Could it effectively accelerate the transition?
AVERE welcomes the proposed revisions to the Weights and Dimensions Directive.
This is seen as a vital step in promoting greater adoption of battery-electric heavy vehicles.
At the core of AVERE’s expectations is maintaining the increased weight allowances for zero-emission trucks, particularly the additional 4 tons compared to their fossil fuel counterparts.
We strongly advocate for these allowances to extend to domestic transport due to the large volume of cargo transported nationally.
At the same time, we emphasize the importance of ensuring these allowances are applied uniformly across Europe, expressing concern over proposals favoring heavier diesel trucks at border crossings, which contradicts the push for zero emissions.
What about the European Modular Systems?
AVERE is also concerned about the current provision for European Modular Systems (EMS).
It believes that a mandate requiring all EMS trucks to be zero-emission by 2030 would strongly incentivize operators to make the switch.
Finally, to ensure the acceleration of the transition to electromobility, AVERE urges swift interinstitutional negotiations.
We urge the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to reach a General Approach and finalize their respective positions by the end of 2023.
This action is considered crucial for the rapid adoption and integration of battery-electric trucks in the European Union.
What other transformations should be discussed in the EU to accelerate the transition to electromobility?
Improving charging infrastructure across the EU, promoting renewable energy use, providing favorable financial incentives and tax benefits for electric vehicle users, and fostering research and development in electric vehicle technology are some of the strategies that should be discussed in the EU to accelerate the transition to electromobility.
As we navigate this significant mobility revolution, it’s important to recognize that no single regulation can solve all issues.
Challenges will inevitably arise, necessitating ongoing assessment, modification, and implementation of regulations.
Our task is to address these issues as they arise, ensuring a smooth transition toward our goals.
Have you had opportunities to meet with the Spanish presidency of the European Union? What feedback have you received from them?
Our strategy is to establish AVERE as a valuable partner to the Council.
This year we have the Spanish presidency, and next year, Belgium and Hungary will take the reins.
We are fortunate to have strong national associations in these countries, enabling us to plan for close cooperation.
By maintaining a solid and constructive relationship with these presidencies, we can ensure that AVERE’s voice is heard and that our mission receives support at the highest level.