Binding EU targets for charging points and hydrogen stations urgently needed, says joint letter to Commission

News from Brussels

Source: ACEA, 2021-07-02

In a joint letter to European Commission President von der Leyen, Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Vălean, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), trade union IndustriALL and environmental NGO T&E, together with a group of e-mobility players, call for a strong EU regulation to replace the outdated Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive with binding targets.

The letter comes just ahead of the presentation of the Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ climate package on 14 July. Reaching Europe’s climate ambitions “requires the right EU framework for the deployment of recharging and refuelling infrastructure to enable drivers to switch on time,” the signatories stress.

The full letter can be found here.

“We, the undersigned, are writing to call on the European Commission to turn the current Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) into an ambitious regulation to secure timely ramp-up of recharging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, alongside binding national targets for all road vehicle segments.

A revision of the AFID under a new directive cannot provide the right framework as it would perpetuate the current patchwork of different national interpretations, implementation and requirements,” the letter says.

“The European Court of Auditors has recently highlighted that the current framework has led to a ‘fragmentation in electro-mobility’ with ‘differences in the density of recharging infrastructure and the Member States’ EV ownership rates’. Pursuing in this direction would not be adequate or sufficient to address the challenge of deploying millions of public and private chargers in the next few years.

If the AFID is proposed as a regulation it can be swiftly implemented in the coming years with the targets and requirements applying as early as 2025 in line with the electric and hydrogen vehicle market growth. A regulation will also guarantee a coherent and interoperable network for consumers and professional transport operators via direct implementation.

On the other hand, with a directive – given that transposition into national law of a directive can take multiple years – the implementation of the targets would be closer to 2030 and result in much fragmentation of the market as seen today.

Such delay would not be acceptable given that the EV market is currently reaching a tipping point (14% new passenger cars in the first quarter of 2021) and EVs will be massively adopted in the next decade.”

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