Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation
In the context of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, on 14 July 2021, the European Commission proposed a new Regulation for the deployment of an alternative fuels infrastructure (COM/2021/559). If adopted, the new Regulation will repeal Directive 2014/94/EU.
The specific objectives of the proposed Regulation are: (i) to ensure minimum infrastructure to support the required uptake of alternative fuel vehicles across all transport modes and in all EU Member States to meet the EU’s climate objectives; (ii) to ensure full interoperability of the infrastructure; and (iii) to ensure comprehensive user information and adequate payment options at alternative fuels infrastructure.
The proposed regulation sets a number of mandatory national targets for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in the EU, for road vehicles, vessels and stationary aircraft.
For publicly available electric recharging infrastructure for light duty road vehicles (cars and vans), the draft regulation sets out mandatory national fleet based targets (e.g. for every battery electric light duty vehicle a total power output of at least 1 kW should be provided through publicly accessible recharging stations while for every plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicle, a total power output of at least 0.66 kW should be provided). It also sets out distance-based targets for light duty and heavy-duty road vehicles on the TEN-T core and comprehensive network. It also requires EU Member States to ensure a number of recharging stations are in place for heavy-duty vehicles in urban nodes.
The draft regulation also includes provisions for ensuring user-friendliness of recharging infrastructure (e.g. payment options, price transparency and consumer information, non-discriminatory practices, smart recharging).
For hydrogen, publicly accessible hydrogen refuelling stations should be deployed with a maximum distance of 150 km in between them along the TEN-T core and the TEN-T comprehensive network and at least one should be available in every urban node.
As regards, electricity supply to vessels and stationary aircraft, the draft regulation sets targets for the deployment of shore-side electricity supply for certain seagoing container and passenger ships in maritime ports and for inland waterway vessels, and for electricity supply to stationary aircraft at TEN-T core and comprehensive network airports.
It also contains provisions for EU Member States to ensure minimum coverage of publicly accessible refuelling points for liquefied natural gas dedicated to heavy-duty vehicles on the TEN-T core and comprehensive network and to ensure an appropriate number of LNG refuelling points in maritime TEN-T ports.
The draft regulation reformulates provisions concerning Member States’ national policy frameworks for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, including provisions for areas where no mandatory EU wide targets are set and the reporting on the deployment of such infrastructure.
The European Council adopted its Common Position on AFIR on 2 June 2022, while the EP plenary endorsed Ismail Ertug’s (S&D, DE) TRAN report on 19 October 2022. This allowed EP to start negotiations with the Council on 27 October 2022 (Trilogues), with a view to reaching a compromise on the AFIR proposal.
Related documents and useful links
Proposal for a Regulation for the deployment of an alternative fuels infrastructure (COM/2021/559)
EP legislative observatory on AFIR: Procedure File: 2021/0223(COD) | Legislative Observatory | European Parliament (europa.eu)
Council, Fit for 55 package: Council adopts its position on three texts relating to the transport sector, Press release, 2 June 2022
Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive
As early as in 2013, the European Commission proposed a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. The Directive eventually adopted in 2014 by the co-legislators (Directive 2014/94/EU):
- requires Member States to develop national policy frameworks for the development of the market for alternative fuels and their infrastructure, including the setting of national targets for infrastructure deployment;
- mandates the use of common technical specifications for recharging and refuelling stations;
- paves the way for setting up appropriate consumer information on alternative fuels, including a clear and sound price comparison methodology.
Relevant documents and useful links
Clean Power for Transport Package
The proposal for the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive was launched as part of the Clean Power for Transport Package. The full package consisted of following documents:
- A Communication laying out a comprehensive European alternative fuels strategy [COM(2013)17], for the long-term substitution of oil as energy source in all modes of transport;
- A proposal for a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels recharging and refuelling infrastructure [COM(2013)18];
- An accompanying Impact Assessment [SWD(2013)5];
- A Staff Working Document setting out the needs in terms of market conditions, regulations, codes and standards for a broad market uptake of LNG in the shipping sector [SWD(2013)4].
In November 2017, as part of the Second Mobility Package or Clean Mobility Package, the European Commission adopted an Action Plan on the deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure, including investment solutions for the trans-European deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. The aim was to increase the level of ambition of national plans, to increase investment, and improve consumer acceptance of alternative fuels.
In February 2019, the Commission published the Roadmap for the evaluation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive. In the Green Deal Communication, the Commission subsequently announced that it will table a proposal for the revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive in the course of 2021. The Commission will shortly publish a joint open public consultation for both processes.