State Vehicles Must Clean Up Their Act

13 Aug 2021 | 11.34 am

State Vehicles Must Clean Up Their Act

Regulations aim to cut use of fossil fuels

13 Aug 2021 | 11.34 am

Under new regulations implementing the EU Clean Vehicle Directive, all public procurement of transport vehicles will have to begin phasing out fossil fuel vehicles as from this month.

The European Communities (Clean and Energy-Efficient Road Transport Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I. No. 381 of 2021) came into effect on August 2..

In essence, the regulations mean that any trucks, buses or other vehicles bought by or operated by public sector bodies must conform to the regulations and contribute to reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions footprint.

A ‘clean’ heavy-duty vehicle, meaning a truck or bus, will have to use an alternative fuel to diesel or petrol, including hydrogen; battery electric (including plug-in hybrids); natural gas (both CNG and LNG, including biomethane); liquid biofuels; synthetic and paraffin fuels; and LPG.

Timelines for the phasing out of petrol and diesel are outlined below:

Transport minister Eamon Ryan said: “Clean and energy-efficient vehicles are a central element in our future low-emissions transport systems. These regulations bring Ireland a step further on the pathway to net-zero carbon by 2050.

“The primary aim is to promote the uptake of low and zero-emission vehicles by setting binding minimum targets for the share of ‘clean’ vehicles in procurement by public sector bodies, consequently stimulating the alternatively-fuelled vehicle market.

“It applies to public procurement, including purchase, lease, rent, hire-purchase contracts and relevant services contracts. These targets are legally binding and will become more stringent from 2026.”

There are some exceptions to the new rules, including agricultural and forestry vehicles, special vehicles used by armed services, civil protection, fire services and police forces, special vehicles used on construction sites, quarries, ports, airports; and armoured vehicles, ambulances, hearses, wheelchair accessible cars and mobile cranes.

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