The European Union has agreed to increase the number of recharging and refueling stations for alternative fuels across Europe as part of its goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
According to Swedish minister for infrastructure and housing Andreas Carlson, the deployment of additional public recharging stations on urban streets and highways will alleviate citizens’ concerns regarding finding charging and refueling stations for their electric or fuel-cell cars.
The agreement is contained within the alternative fuel infrastructure regulation (AFIR), which has three primary goals. The first is to guarantee an adequate infrastructure network for charging or refueling road vehicles or ships with alternative fuels. The second objective is to offer alternative solutions so that vessels and stationary aircraft do not need to keep their engines running. Lastly, the AFIR aims to achieve complete interoperability throughout the EU and ensure the infrastructure is user-friendly.
The provisional agreement upholds the key parameters of the European Commission’s proposal. These parameters include the total power capacity requirements for light-electric vehicle recharging based on fleet size and the trans-European network-transport (TEN-T) coverage, heavy-duty electric vehicle recharging coverage and hydrogen refueling on TEN-T by 2030. It also keeps the requirements for electricity supply to ships at ports starting from 2030.
Meanwhile, the agreement amends aspects of the Commission’s proposal by mandating gradual deployment infrastructure for heavy-duty electric vehicles, focusing on gaseous hydrogen refueling infrastructure, adapting electric recharging requirements, calling for different payment options, specifying obligations for on-shore power supply in maritime ports and including a clause for review of heavy-duty vehicle technology and the regulation itself.
Recharging and refueling infrastructure availability is critical to achieving emission reduction targets. Without a network of easily accessible stations, it would be challenging for consumers to transition to low-emission vehicles and ships.
By 2027, the European Commission will also establish an EU database with useful data on prices, waiting times and availability for each recharging and refueling station.