Alternative fuels infrastructure in Europe: Electric trucks and buses can’t wait another decade
European Union Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR)
On March 28, 2023, representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed on a compromise for the EU Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).
Proposed on July 14, 2021, by the European Commission, the AFIR is part of the EU’s “Fit for 55,” a package of regulatory actions to make the EU policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. It sets for the first time legally binding national and EU-wide targets for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure for road vehicles, vessels, and stationary aircraft.
The EU’s ordinary legislative procedure requires the co-legislators (the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union) to agree on the European Commission’s proposal. The Council adopted its position for interinstitutional negotiations on June 2, 2022. The European Parliament, in turn, voted on its negotiation position in a plenary on October 19, 2022. In four rounds of trialogue meetings, representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council discussed their respective positions. They agreed on a compromise on March 28, 2023.
This regulation requires Member States must ensure a total power output of at least 1.3 kW for each battery electric car or van and 0.8 kW for each plug-in hybrid registered in their territory is provided through publicly accessible recharging stations. Besides, Member States must ensure the installation of a fast-charging pool every 60 km in each direction of travel by 2025 along the core TEN-T and by 2030 along the comprehensive TEN-T. For trucks and buses, AFIR includes a combined approach of distance-based targets along the TEN-T, targets for recharging infrastructure at safe and secure parking areas, and targets at urban nodes. For the distance-based targets, 15% of the entire TEN-T (core and comprehensive) must be equipped with fast-charging stations at least every 120 km, increasing to 50% by 2027, and 100% by 2030. Targets for the minimum capacity of, and maximum distance between, hydrogen refueling stations for trucks are also included.
ICCT policy update on the AFIR provides an overview of this regulation. Highlights include:
- An overview of fleet-based and distance-based targets of the AFIR for passenger cars and vans;
- An overview of distance-based targets, targets for recharging infrastructure at safe and secure parking areas, and targets at urban nodes for trucks and buses.
- And an overview of other features of the AFIR, including user-friendliness, derogations, and reporting requirements.
A review of the AFIR proposal: How much power output is needed for public charging infrastructure in the European Union?
A review of the AFIR proposal: Public infrastructure needs to support the transition to a zero-emission truck fleet in the European Union
A review of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) proposal