The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes the European Parliament vote on the EU-wide roll-out of the charging and refuelling infrastructure needed to power zero-emission cars, vans, trucks and buses.
The Parliament voted earlier today on the European Commission’s proposed Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) – an important component of its package of ‘Fit for 55’ climate laws.
“We are pleased that MEPs have injected more ambition into this regulation, upping the national targets for both charging points and hydrogen fuelling stations, compared to the Commission’s proposal,” said ACEA Director General, Sigrid de Vries. “After all, infrastructure is an essential part of the transport decarbonisation equation, alongside affordable zero-emission vehicles.”
MEPs also voted in other improvements to AFIR, such as an increase in the required power output for light- and heavy-duty vehicle chargers, a faster roll-out of hydrogen filling stations, and more transparency and convenience for consumers – all of which are welcomed as steps in the right direction by the auto industry.
“However, even with these strengthened targets, AFIR will only provide a minimum network of infrastructure, which will have to be complemented by private sector initiatives,” explained Ms de Vries. EU policy makers should support this by de-risking investments and speeding up permitting and planning procedures, including for grid upgrades, says ACEA.
De Vries: “Policy makers have already set the bar very high for the auto industry when it comes to targets for CO2 emissions from cars and vans. It is now crucial that AFIR matches this level of ambition.” ACEA therefore calls on national governments, the European Parliament and the European Commission to maintain a strong AFIR in the trialogue negotiations.
What is more, ACEA cautions that setting truck-specific infrastructure targets now will effectively determine the CO2 reductions that will be possible in this segment by the end of this decade. This needs to be taken into account for the forthcoming review of the HDV CO2 regulation.