The international climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, is just around the corner. The Netherlands will also make promises here to prevent further climate disruption, which in turn will affect the taxi and coach industry. KNV explains how the sectors currently stand in terms of greening, where there are still challenges and what they require from the government.

From 1 to 13 In November, the participating countries will try to further elaborate the agreements from the Paris agreement at the climate summit. The main ambition of this agreement is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. The Netherlands therefore aims to reduce CO2 emissions in 2030 by 49 percent and in 2051 with 50 percent.

In In the run-up to the summit, the results of the Dutch Innovation Monitor 2021 have been published. About six hundred companies answered questions about issues such as innovation and sustainability, the consequences of corona, the digital transformation and environmental and climate policy. An important conclusion that emerged from this was that tens of thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands of companies in the Netherlands do not expect to be climate neutral this century.

Greening taxi and coach in the right direction The expectations for taxi and coach companies, on the other hand, are less negative, says KNV chairman Bertho Eckhardt. According to him, technological developments are progressing rapidly, which means that the greening of the sector is going in the right direction. “Ten years ago there were less than 2. fully electric cars in the Netherlands, this number has now risen to over the 200.000 . This while the purchase price is still very high.” It is expected that in the coming years more and more models will come onto the market that are also cheaper.

According to Eckhardt, the same development also applies to public transport buses. More than a quarter of these buses are already emission-free. “The supply of passenger vans for target group transport and of coaches will be positively influenced as a result.” In that respect, the market is still far from fully developed. “But because things are moving very quickly now, we certainly expect the sectors to be climate neutral before the middle of this century. Also with regard to heavier vehicles.”

Ambitions achieved later than envisaged From the Dutch Innovation Monitor 2021 further shows that the number of companies trying to reduce their carbon footprint to zero is between 2030 and 2051 has fallen sharply. According to Eckhardt, this is also not an issue in the taxi and coach sector. “It is not for nothing that we have signed a number of administrative agreements and covenants to ensure that we are emission-free well before the middle of this century.” He is referring to the administrative agreement that should lead to completely zero-emission target group transport from 1 January 2027, and the Roadmap Zero Emission Taxi Transport with the ambition that all new taxis in the Netherlands are clean and quiet in 2021.

Eckhardt emphasizes, however, that there are preconditions attached to these ambitions, such as sufficient charging infrastructure, availability of vehicles that can be used more or less like their fossil predecessors, but also things like a level playing field for the boarding and ordering market. “These preconditions will probably ensure that in practice it will be later in, for example, the consumer taxi market. There it goes rather towards 2021-2028.”

There are no such agreements for the coach sector. “Nevertheless, there are companies that voluntarily participate in regional initiatives, such as Ecostars in de Rijmond.” However, what is currently the most important reason for not going green as a coach company, according to Eckhardt, is that the industry has been hit hard by corona. “All reserves – including those for investing in a smaller ecological footprint – have disappeared.”

Lack of government control KNV is also looking to the government to make taxi and coach transport more sustainable. “They play a key role in this. For example, target group transport is currently lacking direction, which means that very different requirements are set for government tenders. This makes it more difficult for entrepreneurs to go green, because it is difficult for entrepreneurs to plan without clarity about the long term. After all, because of the higher prices and other infrastructure, it is more than just replacing a car or bus.”

In the creating sufficient charging options is an important role for the government. “After all, they deal with matters such as strengthening the network and energy infrastructure in cities.” For now, KNV asks clients and governments to have realistic expectations of further sustainability in passenger transport. “Think of realistic transition periods and growth models for zero-emission transport, but also, for example, higher fees that increase returns and make investments possible.”

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