Act incentivising low-emission vehicles in public transport comes into effect

The adoption of Act No. 360/2022 Coll., on the promotion of low-emission vehicles through public procurement and public passenger transport services, which came into effect on 1 December 2022, is certain to be one of the significant steps to support low-emission vehicles on Czech roads. The act transposes into Czech law Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of clean road vehicles to promote low-emission mobility and its amending Directive 2019/1161 on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles.

The act, prepared by the Ministry of Regional Development, sets out the minimum shares of low-emission vehicles that public procurers and commissioners of public services in the transport sector will have to meet when procuring road vehicles and services using them.

The minimum percentages will increase over time. For passenger cars, minibuses and light commercial vehicles, a 29.7% share of low-emission vehicles applies from the act’s effective date. For buses and trucks, the shares are 41% and 9%, respectively, from the effective date of the law until the end of 2025. By the end of 2030, the percentages will increase to 60% for buses and 11% for trucks. These percentages shall not apply to contracts started before the act’s effective date.

For the purposes of the act, a low-emission vehicle means, until 31 December 2025, a road vehicle of the category of passenger car, minibus and light commercial vehicle that does not exceed the carbon dioxide emission limit of 50 g/km and 80% of the emission limits for air pollutants in actual use. From 1 January 2026 to 31 December 2030, the term refers to vehicles in the above category with zero carbon dioxide emissions. A road vehicle in the truck and bus category must use an alternative fuel or energy source, i.e. in particular, biofuel or other fuel from renewable sources, synthetic and paraffinic fuels, compressed natural gas including biomethane, liquefied natural gas including biomethane, liquefied petroleum gas, electricity and hydrogen. A low-emission vehicle is also a vehicle designed to operate on a trolleybus line.

The act also allows contracting authorities and commissioners of public transport services to jointly meet the defined shares, i.e. contracting authorities procuring a larger number of low-emission vehicles can meet the obligations jointly with contracting authorities with opposite needs in order to collectively meet the specified targets.

The act exempts agricultural and forestry vehicles, tracked vehicles, vehicles specially designed for the armed forces, ambulances, funeral vehicles, mobile cranes and others. The Office for the Protection of Competition will oversee compliance with the act.

Following the act’s effective date, Government Regulation No. 173/2016 Coll., on the establishment of binding procurement conditions for public contracts for the acquisition of road vehicles, was repealed by Government Regulation No. 361/2022 Coll.

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