MEPs and the Swedish Presidency of the Council agreed on mandatory national targets for the deployment of infrastructure for alternative fuels for cars and trucks. A provisional agreement was reached between Parliament and Council negotiators that updates EU rules on infrastructure for alternative fuels. It seeks to expand the deployment of recharging or alternative refuelling stations for cars, trucks and even stationary planes and bring Europe closer to its climate neutral ambitions by 2050.
According to European Commission, the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council to boost the number of publicly accessible electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling stations in particular across the European Union's main transport corridors and hubs. This is a landmark agreement that will enable the transition to zero-emission transport and contribute to the target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
The new Regulation for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (AFIR) sets mandatory deployment targets for electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for the road sector, for shore-side electricity supply in maritime and inland waterway ports, and for electricity supply to stationary aircraft. By making a minimum of recharging and refuelling infrastructure available across the EU the regulation will end consumer concerns about the difficulty to recharge or refuel a vehicle. AFIR also paves the way for a user-friendly recharging and refuelling experience, with full price transparency, common minimum payment options and coherent customer information across the EU.
During the negotiations, MEPs managed to secure that electric charging pools for cars with at least a 400 kW output will have to be deployed at least every 60 km along core TEN-T network by 2026, with the network’s power output increasing to 600 kW by 2028. The requirement to have a charging station every 120 km is set for trucks and buses, but these stations should be installed on half of main EU roads by 2028 and with a 1400kW to 2800 kW power output depending on the road, says the deal. It will also be complemented by two charging stations for trucks in safe and secure parking places as of 2028. The negotiators also agreed to have hydrogen refuelling stations along core TEN-T network deployed at least every 200 km by 2031.
Users of alternative fuel vehicles will have to be able to pay easily and conveniently at recharging or refuelling points (with payment cards, contactless devices or, in certain cases, using a QR code). The price of the “fuels” will have to be displayed per kWh, per minute/session or per kg, be reasonable, easily and clearly comparable, transparent and non-discriminatory, says the deal.
MEPs ensured that the Commission will set up an EU “database” on alternative fuels data by 2027 to provide consumers with information on the availability, waiting times or price at different stations.
“Alternative and sustainable fuels and deploying the right infrastructure are key in the transition to a climate-neutral Europe. The new rules will help to roll out the infrastructure for alternative fuels without further delay and ensure that driving and charging a new generation car is as simple and convenient as one that depends on petrol”, said EP rapporteur Ismail Ertug.
For Adina V?lean, Commissioner for Transport, the agreement takes us a step further on the pathway to decarbonising mobility in Europe. “It will ensure that citizens and transport and logistics companies alike can rely on a strong network for charging and refuelling infrastructure on our roads, and in our ports and airports, across the European Union. In many of these technologies, Europe has the technological leadership, and such investments will further help us create jobs in Europe”, she added.
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