MEPs endorse compromise on directive for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure across the EU
With the new Directive, Member States will have to provide a minimum infrastructure for alternative fuels such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas, as well as common EU wide standards for equipment needed and user information. It is an important milestone which sends a strong signal to the market.
The European Commission’s proposal aimed at supporting the deployment of an infrastructure, notably for charging electric vehicles in Europe. It followed the assessment that clean fuel is being held back by three main barriers: the high cost of vehicles, a low level of consumer acceptance, and the lack of recharging and refuelling stations.
More specifically, this directive entails:
- Minimum levels of infrastructure across the EU. A requirement on Member States to submit to the Commission national plans for minimum levels of infrastructure – refuelling and recharging stations - for alternative fuels such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas. The targets and objectives will be published by the Commission. There is also a review mechanism in the Directive to allow the Commission to assess if national targets are sufficient to deliver a critical mass of infrastructure or if mandatory targets at EU level – as had been originally proposed by the Commission.
- EU wide standards for the infrastructure. The agreement requires the use of common plugs for electric vehicles and standardised refuelling equipment for hydrogen and natural gas as well as the development of future standards for wireless recharging points, battery swapping technology and standardised plugs for buses and motorcycles.
- Clear consumer information to facilitate use