Clean Fuel Infrastructure Rule Agreed by EU Council and EU Parliament

According to information provided by the EU commision , the member states’ permanent representatives endorsed a compromise reached between the Council and the European Parliament concerning a directive on building up minimum infrastructure for alternative fuels across the EU.

Creating a sufficient network of recharging and refuelling stations is considered crucial in order to drive consumer demand for vehicles powered by “clean fuel”, such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas, and to encourage manufacturers to develop such vehicles and to sell them at competitive prices.

Currently the use of clean fuel is being held back by the high cost of vehicles, low demand and the lack of infrastructure. In this vicious circle, refuelling stations are not being built because there are not enough vehicles. Vehicles are not sold at competitive prices because there is not enough demand. Consumers do not buy the vehicles because they are expensive and the refuelling stations are not there.
The new directive aims to break this vicious circle, thus reducing transport’s dependence on oil and cutting back its greenhouse gas emissions. It also intends to promote economic growth and job creation in the EU, in particular in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Under the directive, each member state will adopt a national policy framework for the market development of alternative fuels infrastructure, outlining its national targets for putting in place new recharge and refuel points and relevant supporting actions. It must send its framework to the Commission within two years from the entry into force of the directive.
Coordinated by the Commission, the national policy frameworks of all member states will provide long-term security for private and public investment into vehicle and fuel technology and infrastructure roll-out. Member states must set targets for electricity for cars, electricity for ships, hydrogen, liquefied natural gas for ships, liquefied natural gas for trucks and compressed natural gas.

To come into effect, the text still needs to be formally approved by the Parliament and the Council (agreement at first reading).

The directive will enter into force twenty days after its publication in the EU Official Journal. After that, member states will have two years to adopt national provisions to comply with the directive.

Source: Council of the European Union