Common Procurement meeting in Nantes

The European Compro project arranged a workshop for environmental friendly technology the 4th of March. The Compro project aims at supporting the development of environmentally friendly technologies, by establishing common procurement criteria.

Europe suffers, since long, from diverging demands on environmental products. Each demand is often well justified by a high environmental ambition.But, the total picture counteracts the ambition of improvement. The large number of special requests for not legislated emission performance, for special fuels, for local test cycle data etc. drives cost and it becomes impossible to get a critical mass for new technologies.

The solution is a technology neutral approach.It will thus be possible to predict which technologies that will be favoured in the longer time perspective it also gives a guarantee for cost efficiency.

Or let me put it like this. Which is better for the environment, at same cost: One fuel cell demonstrator buses running with average 30 persons during 3 years or ten new high capacity BRT buses serving in average 400 persons during 10 years? The answer is not obvious in the long time perspective where the enabler of potential new technology is needed.

But if I ask: Which is better? 223 different specific and different demands from European cities and demonstration projects or a massive increase of the amount of public transports the answer is simple, when the limited resources are considered. I support the idea of common procurement criteria as a way weed out the overlaps and to support coordination of common demands.

By the way, I have previously been complaining about the slow development of bus infrastructure in Europe. I may have to reconsider. Nantes demonstrates an excellent show case how pedestrians, bikes, cars, trams, ferry, trains and buses can be integrated smoothly. The Nantes BRT bus stops have been equipped with modern design that attracts passengers from the less environmentally friendly modes of transports.

Cylindrical bus stop in front of the “Chatau de

Ducs de Bretagne” in Nantes

After the workshop I went jogging along L’Erdre. There was a frisk breeze from the Atlantic sea. The people living in Nantes are very sporty. There were hundreds of joggers running along the river. Many of which kept an impressive tempo, or if they were training for the Olympics. I don’t know. The most peculiar thing was a little passenger ferry connecting L’Erdre with Loire via a 2 km tunnel.

About volvobuses

Adjunct Professor of Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology. Lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with my wife and three daughters born in 1991, 1994 and 1997. Is a passionate runner.
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