Directive 2019/1161/EU, on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles, came into force on the 1st of August 2019, modifying the previous Directive 2009/33/CE. The transposition of the Directive shall be provided before the 2nd of August 2021.

The objectives of the new Directive are basically two: on one hand, it propose to speed up the decarbonisation of the transport sector, meanwhile obtaining a significantly reduction of air pollutant emissions from transports whose are harmful to the health and to the environment. In this way the Union could honor the Paris agreement.

On the other hand, the new Directive could fill the gaps of Directive 2009/33/CE about its undefined scope and the dispositions relating to the purchase of vehicles. Those two were the elements whose not allow to give impetus to the spread of clean vehicles in the EU internal market.

To achieve this result, the new Directive amending Directive 2009/33/CE, wants to oblige the contracting authorities and the contracting entities to take into consideration the energetic and environmental impact of the road transport vehicles in the public procurement sector. Compliance with the environmental and energetic sustainability criteria is already provided for in the article 34 of the legislative decree no. 50/2016 (laying down the rules on Italian public procurements) as a general principle for drafting the tender documents and as a rewarding criterion for competitors. However, the main amendments of the new Directive concerning:

(i) the definition of the minimum long-term targets of procurement to be achieved by each Member State in vehicles procurement. Those targets are expressed as minimum percentages of clean vehicles in the total number of road transport vehicles covered by contracts to be awarded;

(ii) extending the scope of Directive 2009/33/EC by including practices such as lease, rental and hire-purchase of vehicles, as well as contracts for certain services, ensures that all relevant procurement practices are covered. The services covered by the scope of this Directive, should be those services where the vehicles that are used for the provision of these services fall within the vehicle categories covered by this Directive, and where they represent a major element in the contract. Those services should be identified using their respective Common Procurement Vocabulary codes listed in the Annex.

In order to further promote transport decarbonisation, improve air quality and maintain a level playing field between different operators, Member States can, in compliance with Union law, decide to impose similar requirements also on private operators and services outside the scope of this Directive, such as taxi, car rental and ride-pooling companies.                          

The Directive shall apply only to calls for competition after the 2nd of august 2021 or to tender started after the same period.