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Euro Parliament Transport Committee backs draft directive mandating expansion of alternative fuel stations; grandfathering CHAdeMO

Minimum number of publicly-accessible recharging points for electric vehicles in each member state. Click to enlarge.

EU member states would have to ensure that specified numbers of publicly-available electric vehicle recharging points and hydrogen and natural gas stations are built by 2020, under a draft directive endorsed by the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday. The draft rules aim to reduce dependence on oil and boost take-up of alternative fuels, so as to help achieve a 60% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2050.

Private sector players should play a leading role in developing this infrastructure, but member states should provide tax and public procurement incentives for them to do so, say the members of Parliament (MEPs). The directive specifies that:

  • A minimum number of recharging points for electric vehicles provided in the draft directive (see table below) would have to be put into place by member states, especially in towns;

  • In countries where hydrogen refueling points already exist, a sufficient number of refueling points should be made available, at intervals not exceeding 300 km (186 miles). MEPs added a requirement for building up numbers of hydrogen refueling points in member states where they do not yet exist, with a deadline of 31 December 2030.

  • For heavy duty vehicles, refueling points for LNG along the roads on the TEN-T Core Network should be established at intervals not exceeding 400 km (249 miles); and

  • A sufficient number of CNG refueling points should be available, at maximum intervals of 100 km (62 miles).

When setting targets, member states are to pay particular attention to proving sufficient number of re-charging points and refueling points in urban areas.

Nationally-coordinated policy plans would have to include targets and measures to boost the take-up of alternative fuels, said the Transport Committee. These plans should also provide for the supply of “green” electricity for electric vehicles and include targets for reducing urban congestion and deploying electrified public transport services, it added.

MEPs pointed out that some funding for these plans could come from EU programs such as Horizon 2020, the Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and theConnecting Europe Facility.

For electric recharging, Transport Committee MEPs backed a European Commission proposal for “Type 2” connectors, but added that, where required by national law, these may be fitted with additional safety shutters.

For fast recharging, “Combo 2” connectors should be used, although for a transition period ending on 1 January 2019, fast recharging points may additionally be equipped with “CHAdeMO” connectors. Recharging points installed within three years of the directive’s entry into force could nonetheless remain in service.

The committee approved the draft directive by 30 votes to 7, with 0 abstentions and gave a mandate to rapporteur Carlo Fidanza (EPP, IT) to start negotiations with the Council with a view to reaching a final agreement in spring 2014.



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