The European Commission has reiterated its position that alternative fuels are urgently needed to break the over-dependence of European transport on oil. Transport in Europe is 94 % dependent on oil, 84 % of it being imported, with a bill up to EUR 1 billion per day, and increasing costs to the environment.
Research and technological development have led to successful demonstrations of alternative fuel solutions for all transport modes. Market take-up, however, requires additional policy action.
The Clean Power for Transport package aims to facilitate the development of a single market for alternative fuels for transport in Europe:
- A Communication laying out a comprehensive European alternative fuels strategy [COM(2013)17], for the long-term substitution of oil as energy source in all modes of transport;
- A proposal for a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels recharging and refuelling infrastructure [COM(2013)18];
- An accompanying Impact Assessment [SWD(2013)5];
- A Staff Working Document setting out the needs in terms of market conditions, regulations, codes and standards for a broad market uptake of LNG in the shipping sector [SWD(2013)4].
The final Directive, as adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 29 September 2014 following the inter-institutional negotiations:
- Requires Member States to develop national policy frameworks for the market development of alternative fuels and their infrastructure;
- Foresees the use or common technical specifications for recharging and refuelling stations;
- Paves the way for setting up appropriate consumer information on alternative fuels, including a clear and sound price comparison methodology.
The required coverage and the timings by which this coverage must be put in place is as follows:
|Electricity in urban/suburban and other densely populated areas||Appropriate number of publicly accessible points||by end 2020|
|CNG in urban/suburban and other densely populated areas||Appropriate number of points||by end 2020|
|CNG along the TEN-T core network||Appropriate number of points||by end 2025|
|Electricity at shore-side||Ports of the TEN-T core network and other ports||by end 2025|
|Hydrogen in the Member States who choose to develop it||Appropriate number of points||by end 2025|
|LNG at maritime ports||Ports of the TEN-T core network||by end 2025|
|LNG at inland ports||Ports of the TEN-T core network||by end 2030|
|LNG for heavy-duty vehicles||Appropriate number of points along TEN-T core network||by end 2025|
The Member States have two years to submit their national policy frameworks. The Commission will then assess and report on those national policy frameworks in order to ensure coherence at Union level.
(Source: European Commission)