Challenge and the EU context
The transport industry is strongly dependent on fossil fuels, accounting for 37% of CO2 emissions within the European Union (EU). Moreover, the commercial freight sector is expected to increase in the years to come, and the e-commerce industry has seen continuous economic growth – a tendency that has been significantly bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic. These tendencies have vastly transformed the sector and pose issues in urban supply chains.
In this light, the EU urgently needs to identify and scale-up novel last-mile transportation solutions. At the same time, as e-commerce expands more quickly, so will the issue of sustainability become more and more crucial. The last mile of e-commerce deliveries is the portion of the delivery that produces the highest emissions. A new approach and technologies are needed to support the EU’s aims to become a zero-emission economy by 2050.
URBANE aims to tackle these negative trends associated with the pressure on last-mile deliveries. Its ambitions are in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Paris Agreement, and the Green City Accord, towards the fast adoption of zero-emission urban logistics solutions by 2030, achieving improved efficiency of road transport and logistics systems. URBANE’s goals are also part of the wider European Commission’s goals towards achieving “zero emission last-mile deliveries”’, as components of the European Green Digital Coalition and the European Climate Pact goals. Finally, URBANE is also part of the CIVITAS Initiative “Urban logistics” thematic area, aiming to make sustainable and smart urban mobility a reality for all in Europe and beyond.