Motorcycles of the future to be cleaner and safer through innovation
Brussels, 1.12.2008 - ACEM, the motorcycle industry in Europe, presented today its strategy to shape the future of motorcycling. On the occasion of its 5th Annual Conference, ACEM outlined an extensive set of measures ensuring that the motorcycles and scooters of tomorrow will be cleaner and safer.
The European motorcycle and moped market has been growing constantly over the last six years, mainly pushed by an increasing powered two-wheeler (PTW, motorcycles and mopeds) mobility demand in European cities. In spite of the looming economic recession, which is expected to also affect the PTW market, ACEM members believe the time is right to commit to new environmental objectives, to maximise the market opportunities and further promoting the PTW with authorities as a mobility alternative, in particular in the urban context.
Over the last decade PTWs already achieved remarkable progress in reducing their environmental impact; ACEM members nevertheless propose to achieve parity of motorcycles with passenger cars Euro 5 reductions in 2015, for pollutant emissions. In the context of upcoming regulatory discussions within DG Enterprise of the European Commission, ACEM's proposal is to introduce a EURO 3 for mopeds and a Euro 4 stage for motorcycles in 2012, accompanied by a more stringent emission test cycle, and followed by a EURO 5 stage for motorcycles in 2015 with the same emission thresholds as passenger cars. These two steps, necessary to provide sufficient lead time to comply with industrial design and production constraints, are fundamental to contribute to stability and employment in the sector in these difficult times for the economy. Moving from current Euro 3 to Euro 5 will determine a 50% reduction of motorcycle pollutant emissions.
Today ACEM manufacturers also announced a renewed, enhanced commitment to the EU Road Safety Charter related to advanced braking systems. ACEM manufacturers decided to extend their initial commitment of offering 50% of street model PTWs with an advanced braking system by 2010, setting a further objective of 75% by 2015. This joint action on a vast array of advanced braking systems (CBS, F-ABS, R-ABS, ABS, Combined ABS, ABS-PBS, Integral ABS, new vehicle architectures), ensures the large-scale deployment of these safety features on different categories of PTWs, taking into account the specific use of these products, their distinctive characteristics and the cost-effectiveness of the technical solutions. ACEM opposes a legislative approach, which would be detrimental to the variety of systems, potentially freezing innovation.
These were the highlights of the different initiatives announced by ACEM today, seeking to bring further mobility benefits for PTWs: a switch from cars to motorcycles and scooters increases the number of people the urban transport system is able to move, to the benefit of the economy and society. A presentation by Sorbonne University Professor Pierre Kopp of a study on PTW mobility in Paris confirmed such economical benefit, highlighting however the important role local authorities have to play to accompany with dedicated policies. Andy Mayo, presenting the eSUM project (www.esum.org) on behalf of Transport for London pointed in the same direction, outlining promising safety best practices in urban PTW integration.
Stefan Pierer, President of ACEM, reaffirmed the industry's commitment to innovation and cooperation with the Institutions: "The top priority is to protect businesses and jobs from the worst effects of the current financial crisis. The Recovery Plan proposed last week by the European Commission is a positive signal, which should also apply to the motorcycle industry. We will face over the coming months a delicate period, with challenges for the sector: in October and November, the market significantly reduced compared to last year's figures. However, I am confident that there will also be opportunities for the industry, in particular in the mid-term if supportive actions are undertaken towards the sector at national and EU level, in support of fleet renewal and development of innovative products".
Jacques Compagne, Secretary General of ACEM, said: "Enhancing mobility while at the same time reducing congestion, accidents and pollution is a challenge that ACEM manufacturers are willing to undertake working together with EU legislators, city authorities and citizens organisations".