POWERED TWO-WHEELERS - A SOLUTION FOR CONGESTED CITIES...
November 23 2007.

On 20 November ACEM (the Motorcycle Industry in Europe) gathered manufacturers and stakeholders in Brussels to showcase solutions and innovations to help solving the increasing problems that cities and towns are facing due to growing congestion and diminishing availability of parking space.

For its conference on Urban Mobility, the Powered Two-Wheeler contribution to better quality of life in cities, in the context of the Commission's Green Paper on Urban Mobility, ACEM invited prominent experts and policy makers to debate on the mobility challenges that European cities are now confronted with on a daily basis. The conference, chaired by Malcolm Harbour MEP, was attended by ACEM's top management, member manufacturers and national associations, European institutions, cities and transport stakeholders.

Stefan Pierer, ACEM's recently elected President and KTM's managing director, highlighted the role of PTWs in urban transport and the commitment of the industry to play its part in solving the problem of traffic in cities. "The motorcycle industry, Pierer said, is showing an enormous capacity to innovate and to offer new technical solutions like, electric, hybrid, hydrogen and low friction engines. Urban mobility is the big chance for us and we are willing to work with the European Commission to find new sustainable solutions".

The innovations showcased by world leading manufacturers included a BMW C1 electric prototype, Honda's Ultra-Low Friction and Variable Cylinder Management engines, Piaggio's hybrid three-wheeled MP3 scooter, and Yamaha's electric and fuel cell mopeds. With these new technologies PTWs will in the near future further contribute to reducing CO2 and local emissions, fuel consumption, user's costs as well as displacement times in cities.

Zoltan Kazatsay, Deputy Director General of DG Transport and Energy, European Commission, opened the conference by presenting the Green Paper on Urban Mobility and describing the challenges posed to PTWs by urban mobility. Bertrand-Olivier Ducreux presented the positive results of a study done by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, focusing on Paris and comparing exhaust emissions and fuel efficiency between Euro3 PTWs and Euro4 cars, on a "real-world" daily use basis. The last presentation by Sylvain Haon, of the city network POLIS, and Fabio Nussio, ATAC (Rome's mobility agency), gave an insight of the needs of European towns and cities, and related opportunities, with an analysis of the traffic situation in Rome.

New trends are characterizing urban mobility today. As shown by ACEM's Secretary General Jacques Compagne the mono-directional, linear transfers are progressively being replaced by multi-purpose and multi-destination routes. This is true for business as well as for leisure. When urban mobility is concerned PTW are a precise response to citizens' new travelling demands as they make a better use of the infrastructure, have a low environmental impact, and are widely used by public utility services. ACEM also supports further improvements in PTW road safety believing that an integrated approach involving all stakeholders and complementing industry initiatives is necessary to achieve significant progress. To that end ACEM and the main European cities will be developing partnerships and coordinated actions, within a real "shared responsibility" effort with the support of the European Commission.

In his conclusive address, President Pierer mentioned the challenge of low cost extra-European products entering the European market and not always meeting the emissions and safety regulations. Pierer called for the European Commission to consider them not only a competitive risk for the European industry but also a threat to citizens' health.

Presentations, audio files and pictures are available on www.acembike.org


* ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, is the professional body representing the interests and combined skills of 11 powered two wheelers (PTWs) manufacturers producing a total of 22 motorcycle and moped brands, and 14 national associations at European level out of 13 European countries, representing a turn-over of 10 bn EURO in EU and assuring jobs to over 200.000 people.