Clean fuel infrastructure rules agreed by the Council and the European Parliament


The member states' permanent representatives today endorsed the compromise reached

between the Council and the European Parliament concerning a directive on building up

minimum infrastructure for alternative fuels across the EU.

Boosting demand for vehicles running on alternative fuels

Creating a sufficient network of recharging and refuelling stations is considered crucial in

order to drive consumer demand for vehicles powered by "clean fuel", such as electricity,

hydrogen and natural gas, and to encourage manufacturers to develop such vehicles and to

sell them at competitive prices.

Currently the use of clean fuel is being held back by the high cost of vehicles, low demand and the lack of infrastructure. In this vicious circle, refuelling stations are not being built

because there are not enough vehicles. Vehicles are not sold at competitive prices because

there is not enough demand. Consumers do not buy the vehicles because they are expensive and the stations are not there.

The new directive aims to break this vicious circle, thus reducing transport's dependence on oil and cutting back its greenhouse gas emissions. It also intends to promote economic growth and job creation in the EU, in particular in small and medium-sized enterprises.

According to Commission estimates, alternative fuels coming gradually onto the market are expected to produce savings on the EU oil bill amounting to about €2.3 billion per year in 2030, and another €1 billion per year from the dampening of price fluctuations through improved security of energy supply.

Coordinated national policy frameworks

Under the directive, each member state will adopt a national policy framework for the market development of alternative fuels infrastructure, outlining its national targets for putting in place new recharge and refuel points and relevant supporting actions. It must send its framework to the Commission within two years from the entry into force of the directive.

Coordinated by the Commission, the national policy frameworks of all member states will provide long-term security for private and public investment into vehicle and fuel technology and infrastructure roll-out.

Minimum infrastructure targets and deadlines

Member states must set targets for the following infrastructure:

– Electricity for cars: By the end of 2020, member states should install enough recharge points for electric cars to be able to circulate at least in cities and suburban areas. As an indication, the appropriate average number of recharge points should be equivalent to at least one recharge point per 10 cars, also taking into consideration the type of cars, charging technology and available private recharging points.

– Electricity for ships: Shore-side electricity supply is to be installed as a priority in ports of the Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) Core Network, and in other maritime and inland ports, by the end of 2025, provided there is demand and the costs do not outweigh the benefits.

– Hydrogen: If the member state decides to include hydrogen in its national policy framework, it must ensure that there are enough refuelling stations available to allow smooth circulation by 2025 within the networks determined by the member state.

– Liquefied natural gas for ships: LNG-powered ships should be able to move between the TEN-T Core Network maritime ports by 2025 and between the TEN-T Core Network inland ports by 2030.

Technical standards

Common technical standards are to be applied, making all new recharge and refuel points


User information

Motor vehicle manuals, refuelling and recharging points, and motor vehicle dealerships, among other things, must provide clear information as to which motor vehicles can be fuelled with which fuels or recharged by which available recharge points.

Funding of the new measures

Private investment is expected to play a key role in the build-up of alternative fuels infrastructure. Support measures by member states are possible, in compliance with EU

state aid rules. In addition, relevant actions are eligible for EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility and Horizon 2020.

Next steps

To come into effect, the text still needs to be formally approved by the Parliament and the Council (agreement at first reading).

The directive will enter into force twenty days after its publication in the EU Official Journal. After that, member states will have two years to adopt national provisions to comply with the directive.

Source from : Council of the European Union