The Council of the European Union has passed a new law which will see fast chargers of at least 150kW for electric cars and vans be installed every 60 kilometres along the EU’s main transport corridors, or the so-called ‘trans-European transport (TEN-T) network’.
The law lays out a framework for introducing many other recharging and refuelling stations for alternative fuels for road users in the coming years across Europe. This will enable the transport sector to significantly reduce its carbon footprint following today’s adoption of the alternative fuel infrastructure regulation, said the EU.
Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, Spanish Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, said: “The new law is a milestone of our ‘Fit for 55’ policy providing for more public recharging capacity on the streets in cities and along the motorways across Europe. We are optimistic that in the near future, citizens will be able to charge their electric cars as easily as they do today in traditional petrol stations.”
Besides, the recharging stations for heavy-duty vehicles with a minimum output of 350kW will need to be deployed every 60 km along the TEN-T core network, and every 100 km on the larger TEN-T comprehensive network from 2025 onwards, with complete network coverage by 2030.
The adoption of these new rules is going to make it easier for EV owners across Europe in their travel, while also reducing the range anxiety.
Interestingly, we reported last month that UK drivers were three times more likely to take their EVs to Europe for holidays, showing faith in the European charging infrastructure. However, this move will more than likely bolster the faith even more.
Payment for EV drivers will also become easier, as they will be able to pay easily at recharging or refuelling points with payment cards or contactless devices and without a need for a subscription and in full price transparency
Hydrogen refuelling stations serving both cars and lorries will also be deployed from 2030 onwards in all urban nodes and every 200 km along the TEN-T core network, as part of the new law.
The European Commission also said: “Following today’s formal adoption by the Council, the new regulation will be published in the EU’s official journal after the summer and will enter into force the twentieth day after this publication. The new rules will apply from six months after the date of entry into force of the regulation.”
The alternative fuels infrastructure regulation (AFIR) is part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package of initiatives meant to help the EU reach its goal of reducing net greenhouse emissions by 55 per cent before 2030, compared to 1990 levels and achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
Transport is said to be responsible for 25 per cent of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, with 71 per cent of that coming from road transport like cars, vans and trucks.
The regulation has been formally adopted by the Council, and will now need to progress through some formalities before it enters into force as law across the EU.