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ACEA Position Paper: Review of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive

European Commission has indicated on several occasions that it plans to review the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID). The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes the fact that the Commission confirmed its intention to review the AFID in the European Green Deal that was published on 11 December 2019.

ACEA considers the upcoming AFID review as a piece of legislation that is instrumental to reaching Europe’s long-term decarbonisation objectives and achieving carbon neutrality in the transport sector.

Recently, the Commission also presented its detailed assessment of the National Policy Frameworks (NPFs) that focus on the implementation of the AFID (previously known as the Directive on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure, or DAFI) by EU member states. This assessment of the NPFs provides clear confirmation that investments in alternative fuels infrastructure are lagging behind1.

The need for more intensive investment in infrastructure for alternatively-powered vehicles was also one of the key points of discussion when the 2025 and 2030 CO2 targets for passenger cars, vans and heavy-duty vehicles were set back in 2019. The technical non-papers prepared by the Commission around this time, included clear projections for the (minimum) number of public charging points and re-fuelling stations needed to reach the agreed benchmark levels.

However, with the much higher (overall) ambitions of the European Green Deal in mind, there is now an even greater urgency to upgrade the infrastructure requirements for all alternative fuels in AFID with a view to making a successful transition to low- and zero-emission transport in Europe.

ACEA wants to reiterate the fact that the Commission has made an explicit link between the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure and attaining the 2030 CO2 targets for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). In this context, it must be stressed that high-power charging points and hydrogen re-fuelling stations are lacking in particular today. Indeed, making the necessary infrastructure available is critical to improving consumer convenience in the case of passenger cars and to allowing for smooth operational use of HDVs by freight operators.

Reaching any CO2 target beyond 2020 will greatly depend on the availability of infrastructure for alternatively-powered vehicles. That is why ACEA urges the European Commission to fast-track the AFID review, it should happen as soon as possible, and to focus on swift implementation.

To that end, this ACEA position paper makes 10 key recommendations for the review of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive