The fully revamped European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO3.0) was launched today by the European Commission. The upgraded Observatory is more user-friendly, while the data is of a higher quality; a platform has also been added for public authorities to exchange views. Over the course of 2022, EAFO will gradually be expanded to cover rail and aviation, in addition to the road and waterborne sectors already covered. A consumer information section will also be added.
EAFO is the Commission’s knowledge centre, containing a wealth of data on alternative fuels in Europe. It gathers information on infrastructure roll-out for alternative fuels, the uptake of alternative fuels, and support measures in the Member States and other European countries within EAFO’s scope.
The data gathered by EAFO is essential for the European Commission to monitor the implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (2019/94/EU), the proposed Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation, as well as the Clean Vehicles Directive. These pieces of legislation are central to the Commission’s efforts to decarbonise transport, as acknowledged in the European Green Deal and the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy.
Many new data sources have now been added, making it possible to extend the scope of the Observatory to the rail and aviation sectors. Close collaboration with Eurostat will ensure an even more robust data quality control process. And users are now able to see clearly when EAFO pages and graphs were last updated, and the information sources used.
The website structure has been entirely overhauled and simplified, for easier and more user-friendly navigation, including on mobile devices. A fully interactive and modular interface also allows users to adapt graphs to their needs and to download the data in different formats for reprocessing. Taking into account users’ feedback, the number of Member State comparison graphs has increased significantly, and new comparison maps have been added for many categories.
In terms of policy monitoring and enforcement, EAFO will gradually include progress trackers for the Clean Vehicles Directive and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation, as the new legislation is implemented. A TENtec public map viewer replaces the current map and will be tailored to alternative fuels later this year. The map viewer includes a ‘gap analysis’ algorithm to identify gaps in alternative fuels infrastructure coverage on the TEN-T network – the algorithm will also be upgraded this year. The interactive map will include new thematic data layers, making it possible to perform more sophisticated alternative fuels policy analysis, e.g. by cross-checking the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure against seasonal traffic flows, air quality, population density, energy grids and heavy industry clusters. These features should help ensure public and private funding goes where it is needed most.
The new knowledge platform for public authorities will be the main platform for publishing outcomes and recommendations from the Sustainable Transport Forum (STF). It will also facilitate knowledge sharing on EU funding programmes related to alternative fuels (for example Horizon Europe, Interreg etc.).
The new consumer information section will contain a total-cost-of-ownership calculator, allowing citizens to compare the cost of owning an internal combustion engine vehicle (ICE) against zero emission alternatives. It will include an overview of available electric vehicle models, and sections to compare fuel prices and recharging prices.
An EU-wide consumer monitor on preferences and barriers regarding alternative fuels vehicles and infrastructure will be published in the Consumer section of EAFO3.0 on an annual basis, and for the first time towards the end of 2022.
- Publication date
- 30 March 2022
- Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport