New ambitious regulations for alternative fuel infrastructure


The European Commission said it welcomed the political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council to increase the number of publicly accessible electric car charging and hydrogen refueling stations, particularly in key transport corridors and hubs across the European Union. "This is a landmark agreement that will enable the transition to zero-emission transport and contribute to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030" - believes the EC.



The new regulation on the development of alternative fuels infrastructure sets mandatory targets for electric charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure for the road sector, shore power at seaports and inland ports, and powering aircraft with electricity while at a standstill.

"By providing a minimum charging and refueling infrastructure across the EU, the regulation will eliminate consumer concerns about the difficulty of charging or refueling vehicles. AFIR will also pave the way for a user-friendly charging and refueling system through full price transparency, common minimum requirements for payment methods and consistent customer information across the EU," - informs the Commission.

According to the EC, the new regulations will lead to the creation of a sufficiently large and user-friendly alternative fuel infrastructure for road transport, shipping and aviation.

This will enable the use of zero-emission road vehicles, especially light and heavy electric and hydrogen vehicles, as well as powering moored ships and aircraft with electricity while they are stationary.

The goals to be achieved 

First, charging infrastructure for cars and vans must grow at the same rate as the number of vehicles. To that end, publicly available charging infrastructure must provide a charging capacity of 1.3 kW for every fully electric car registered in the country. In addition, starting in 2025, fast charging stations with a capacity of at least 150 kW must be installed every 60 kilometers along the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

Second, charging stations for heavy-duty vehicles with a minimum charging power of 350 kW must, starting in 2025, be located every 60 km along the TEN-T core network and every 100 km along the larger TEN-T comprehensive network, with full network coverage to be achieved by 2030. In addition, charging stations must be installed in safe and protected parking lots to allow overnight charging and in urban hubs for delivery vehicles.

Third, hydrogen refueling infrastructure that can serve both cars and trucks must be deployed, starting in 2030, at all urban hubs and every 200 km along the TEN-T core network, creating a network dense enough to allow hydrogen vehicles to travel throughout the EU.

Fourth, seaports with at least 50 large passenger ships or 100 container ships calling annually must provide shore-side electricity to such vessels by 2030. This will contribute not only to reducing the carbon footprint of shipping, but also to significantly reducing local air pollution in port areas.

Fifth, airports must provide electricity supply to aircraft during parking at all contact stations by 2025, and at all remote stations by 2030.

Sixth and finally, operators of electric charging and hydrogen refueling stations must provide full price transparency, offer a common ad hoc payment method, such as by debit or credit card, and make relevant data, such as location data, available by electronic means, thus providing customers with a full range of information.

Next steps

The agreement reached now awaits formal adoption by the European Parliament and the Council. Once that is done, the new regulations will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will come into force after a six-month transition period.

The European Green Deal is the EU's long-term strategy for growth, which aims to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050. To meet this goal, the EU must reduce its emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The agreement reached this week is another important step toward the Commission's adoption of the "Ready for 55" legislative package to implement the European Green Deal. It follows on the heels of other recent agreements, the most recent of which dealt with sustainable fuels in shipping.