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Virta’s Elias Pöyry addressed EU Commissioner Vălean on AFIR and the need for successful European growth companies

"The success of new profitable growth businesses is a pre-requisite for zero-carbon future and AFIR implementation guidelines should reflect this," Elias Pöyry, Virta Co-Founder.

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In the EU Future Mobility Taskforce meeting with European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean and her cabinet, Virta co-founder Elias Pöyry addressed the importance of opening markets to new businesses and new disruptive business models in driving European competitiveness and reaching ambitious climate targets.   

“The envisioned giant leaps in fighting climate change and improving European competitiveness can only be achieved if Europe has thriving new forerunner companies who succeed in scaling globally with profitable new and disruptive business models. Political ambitions are turned into everyday reality by commercial activity. This applies to the internet, mobile communications, renewable energy, electrification, and digitalisation of transportation and mobility.” 

“European and national regulators have a great responsibility in enabling the business environment that allows new businesses to challenge the old ones and grow globally. Too often, Europe has approached mobility markets on a national or even municipal level. However, major changes can only be achieved by successful global-level, market-driven solutions. We should not protect the market positions of existing companies and industries but rather establish market competition to challenge the status quo and push for faster change. The new disruptive businesses also act as partners, allies, and catalysts for change for the incumbents”, Pöyry stated. 

Mr Pöyry congratulated the Commissioner and the DG Move for the new Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), creating a level playground for all players in the European single market. However, Pöyry remarked that the implementation of AFIR is still underway – it is vital that commission implementation guidelines under preparation also encourage the charging businesses to use all available space in the regulatory framework for innovation and new business models in the limits of new regulation, and not rushing into one service model that would halt the progress and innovation prematurely. The AFIR regulation will come into force on 13 April 2024, and the Commission’s guideline document, “The Q&A”, is expected to be published well ahead of that.

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Elias Pöyry addressed his words to Commissioner Vălean in a dialogue between The Commission and the EU Mobility Taskforce on Thursday, 11 January 2024. The meeting was organised to introduce and launch the EU Future Mobility Taskforce of Europe’s 18 most influential and fastest-growing new mobility unicorns and scale-ups. The Taskforce aims to match these companies’ innovations with the EU’s strategic objectives, particularly regarding fair competition within the EU and against the background of increasing global competition in the transportation sector. 

Virta wishes to thank Commissioner Vălean for her support and dedication to the topic and Bolt and Cabify for the initiative to establish the platform.