With the timely title “Europe on the Move”, the EU Commission published its latest Communication (COM(2017) 283) on May 31, 2017 to accelerate its agenda for a socially fair transition towards clean, competitive and connected mobility. A wide-ranging set of initiatives are included that will make traffic safer; encourage smart road charging; reduce CO2 emissions, air pollution and congestion; cut red-tape for businesses; fight illicit employment and ensure proper conditions and rest times for workers. The long-term benefits of these measures will extend far beyond the transport sector by promoting growth and job creation, strengthening social fairness, widening consumers’ choices and firmly putting Europe on the path towards zero emissions.
The Communication indicated that it will be important to further maximise synergies between transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure by exploring the potential for combining funds from the corresponding Trans-European Network programmes under the Connecting Europe Facility.  This could contribute to cross-cutting objectives such as the decarbonisation of transport and energy supply, diversification and smart grids.

The package’s research and innovation section highlight’s the role of hydrogen in mobility. Specifically, the development of hydrogen fuelled trains as a cost-effective solution to limiting railway emissions. Hydrogen’s potential in rail is highlighted as an alternative in situations where electrification of rail does not yield sufficient return on investment.

“Hydrogen, after an initial test and demonstration stage in internal combustion engines, is now only considered as a viable alternative fuel when used in fuel cell electric powertrains.”

There is additional emphasis placed on the role that hydrogen may have in electric waterborne transport