Zero Emission Construction Sites Under Debate During EU Green Week

CECE reports discussions were had on the feasibility of electric-powered construction equipment, and the challenges that remain to create true market solutions.


The 2018 edition of the EU Green Week took place from May 21-25, with a focus on Green Cities and their future developments; in this framework the European Parliament hosted an event on ‘Building more liveable cities: the role of zero-emissions construction sites.’ S&D MEP from the United Kingdom, Seb Dance hosted the event, supported by environmental NGO, Bellona Europa Foundation.

In his role of Shadow-Rapporteur for the Clean Vehicles Directive (CVD), Dance highlighted his position to tackle construction site emissions head-on, by presenting an amendment in the Transport Committee of the EP asking for the inclusion of construction machinery within the CVD’s scope.

Best practices from Oslo to promote the electrification of the construction sites were shared during the meeting and Bellona presented their study in progress regarding the ‘possibilities and barriers of electric construction machinery.’ The EU Commission, DG Grow, addressed the current and future EU policy initiatives via public procurements as the possible instruments to increase control of emissions from constructions sites.

CECE regret the lack of involvement by the organizers of industry trade associations in preparing the event and its background research. However, OEMs as Liebherr, Wacker Neuson and PON Equipment Norway commented on the availability of fully-electric technology, but also highlighted the difficulties in developing true market solutions for these kinds of products. Mentioned limitations are not only linked to battery prices and development, but also the need to improve on-site electricity supply, the lack of appropriate skills and the usually higher price that these machines have for end-users.

All machine manufacturers clearly pointed out the fundamental contribution that upcoming Stage V technology is having and will have in urban air quality. Indeed, the economic and technical engagement to produce the cleanest construction machines worldwide will deliver quantified benefits to EU citizens in a near future.