EU Reaches Landmark Agreement to Boost Public EV Charging and Hydrogen Refueling
The European Parliament and Council have reached a political agreement that will increase the number of publicly accessible electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling stations across the European Union’s main transport corridors and hubs. The agreement is a significant milestone for the EU’s transition to zero-emission transport and its 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, shore-side electricity supply in maritime and inland waterway ports, and electricity supply to stationary aircraft. By ensuring a minimum of recharging and refuelling infrastructure is available across the EU, the regulation will eliminate consumer concerns about the difficulty of recharging or refuelling a vehicle.
The AFIR regulation 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.
The new AFIR rules will ensure sufficient and user-friendly alternative fuels infrastructure for road, shipping, and aviation. This will enable the use of zero-emission road vehicles, in particular electric and hydrogen light- and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as electricity supply to moored vessels and stationary aircraft.
The following main deployment targets will have to be met in 2025 or 2030:
- Recharging infrastructure for cars and vans has to grow at the same pace as vehicle uptake. Fast recharging stations of at least 150 kW need to be installed every 60 km along the trans-European transport (TEN-T) network from 2025 onwards.
- Recharging stations dedicated to heavy-duty vehicles with a minimum output of 350 kW need to be deployed every 60 km along the TEN-T core network from 2025 onwards, with complete network coverage to be achieved by 2030.
– Hydrogen refuelling infrastructure that can serve both cars and lorries must be deployed from 2030 onwards in all urban nodes and every 200 km along the TEN-T core network, ensuring a sufficiently dense network to allow hydrogen vehicles to travel across the EU.
Maritime ports that see at least 50 port calls by large passenger vessels, or 100 port calls by container vessels, must provide shore-side electricity for such vessels by 2030.
Airports must provide electricity to stationary aircraft at all contact stands (gates) by 2025, and at all remote stands (outfield positions) by 2030.
Operators of electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling stations must ensure full price transparency, offer a common ad hoc payment method such as debit or credit card, and make relevant data, such as that on location, available through electronic means, thereby ensuring the customer is fully informed.
The political agreement must now be formally adopted by the European Parliament and Council. Once completed, the new rules will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force after a transitional period of 6 months.
The EU’s long-term growth strategy, the European Green Deal, aims to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050. To reach this target, the EU must reduce its emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This week’s agreement is another important step in the adoption of the Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package to deliver the European Green Deal.
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