City Transport & Road Pricing Europe 2021: Meet the Speaker – James Nix, Transport & Environment

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With only two weeks to go until City Transport & Road Pricing Europe Conference 2021, CiTTi meets speaker James Nix, director of freight and transport at Transport & Environment, who will discuss CO2 differentiated tolling. 

Taking place on 11-12 May 2021 via virtual conferencing platform Swapcard, City Transport & Road Pricing Europe 2021 will explore the latest developments and technologies shaping urban transportation via four key content themes: road pricing and tolling; emissions and sustainability; congestion and traffic management; and transportation infrastructure.

This two-day online event will see over 20 expert speakers highlight the latest road pricing and tolling projects, discuss intelligent transport infrastructures and present urban mobility schemes being implemented in major towns and cities across Europe, from Ljubljana and Oslo to Brussels and Lahti.

James Nix, director of freight and transport, Transport & Environment

Name: James Nix

Job role: Director of Freight & Transport

Organisation: Transport & Environment

What is the best thing about your job?
I like that it’s pretty tangible. From buses to trucks, and cargo bikes to vans, new electric vehicles are increasingly coming on to our streets, taking over from diesel and petrol. It’s not an overnight change. But over time, we’ll all reap the benefits in the form of cleaner air and lower climate emissions.

What is the biggest challenge facing those with responsibility for tolling and road pricing in 2021?
In the EU, it’s getting the Eurovignette file agreed between member states and European Parliament. We’re deep in negotiations right now. National capitals are waiting for the final text before they can implement new tolling plans to boost the roll out of electric trucks. Truck-makers willing to rapidly scale-up e-truck production are also waiting. It’s decision time. The proposals are solid, with so many improvements since the revision started in 2017: now is the time to ink a good deal.

What’s your best piece of advice for those looking to implement road pricing or tolling solutions
Research! Often when you think something is impossible, there is in fact a solution. One example from Ireland: the Irish government decided to give a 75% discount to zero-emission vehicles (and 50% to hybrids) but didn’t want to re-open any tolling contracts with its concessionaires. It found a solution by contracting with the operators of the in-vehicle electronic tags. So essentially, the electronic tag operators count all the electric and hybrid journeys on Ireland’s toll roads, and the Irish government pays tag operators to give toll reductions, up to certain limits. The concession contracts are entirely unaffected – while the transport transition progresses.

Does legislation help or hinder development in the sector?
The Eurovignette law has been central to modernising trucking across Europe, a good example being charging lower rates to newer (EURO class) trucks to boost their deployment. The forthcoming reform can really unlock electric trucking. Draft provisions provide for a 50-75% toll discount for zero-emission trucks (electric and hydrogen) from April 2023, with a 100% reduction allowed until the end of 2025. This promises to be a complete game-changer for the roll-out of e-trucks.

How will the business of road-user charging have changed by 2030?
Decarbonising transport will become even more dominant. We know electric vehicles are the best solution, but how do we adapt our toll systems to get them on the road, and ensure a sustainable transport future? Well over half of all new cars and vans sold will need to be zero-emission (electric essentially) by 2030, with sales levels of zero-emission trucks coming close to 50%. This is what’s needed if we are to clean up transport by 2050 – and it will take all our collaboration to get there.

Why are you looking forward to speaking at City Transport & Road Pricing Europe 2021?
To engage and share! It’s a very exciting time – and I’m keen to make my online contribution as interactive as possible.

At the conference you’ll also be able to hear from Continental, Transport & Environment, Greenplan, the cities of Stuttgart and Oslo, the European Green Capital 2021 project… and more! You can view the full agenda here. All times are shown in CET (GMT+1). All sessions will be available after the conference on-demand.

For partnership enquiries, please contact Robert Gouge at robert.gouge@akabomedia.co.uk or by calling +44 (0) 20 8065 0465. For speaking opportunities, please contact Claudia Davidson at claudia.davidson@akabomedia.co.uk or by calling +44 (0) 20 8037 1777.

Meet some of our other speakers at City Transport & Road Pricing Conference Europe 2021… 

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