AEGPL supported a public event on the topic of future transport fuels held in Brussels last Thursday, with General Manager Samuel Maubanc giving a speech and taking part in a panel discussion on the topic of strategy and tools for clean transport until 2020. The event was opened by European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas, who noted that more investment was required in all alternative fuels in order to create the infrastructure necessary to stimulate demand and reduce dependency on conventional fuels.
After the opening keynote, Samuel joined a panel of alternative fuel experts, which included Commission Director Marie Donnelly and Jos Dings of the environmental NGO Transport and Environment, to debate the immediate pathway forward for alternative fuels in Europe. Samuel gave a brief overview of the key properties of Autogas, noting that as well as offering carbon savings compared with conventional fuels, Autogas is the most widespread alternative fuel available on the market with an extensive dispensing network and more than 7 million cars already on the road in the EU. He noted also, however, that some countries needed further support to make the most of the potential of Autogas and that there are possible government actions at EU, national and local level, including reduced road taxes, free parking, exemptions from congestion charges in urban areas, and tax rebates for conversions.
He also stressed the potentially damaging nature of the Commission proposal for a revision of the Energy Taxation Directive, noting that the minimum levy would push consumers back to conventional fuels, not only hindering the uptake of Autogas, but also of other alternative fuels.
The afternoon session of the conference also offered an opportunity to clarify that LPG is safe in underground parking installations. In response to an incorrect comment from one of the panellists concerning the danger of parking an LPG cars underground, Italian LPG Association Autogas Manager Salvatore Piccolo, who was also present at the event, stressed that since 2001 comprehensive safety regulations have been in place concerning this issue. He noted that almost every country in Europe allows LPG vehicles in underground parking facilities.
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