EU Commission and member states need to redouble efforts to achieve broad coverage and even distribution of alternative fuels infrastructure across the EU. That is the message contained in draft legislation put before Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) this week, which seeks to address concerns arising from only eight member states so far complying with the 2014 EU directive.
MEPs want the Commission to propose more efficient instruments including binding and enforceable targets, as there are “differing levels of effort and ambition” in EU countries. They argued before the Transport and Tourism Committee that to fill gaps in recharging and refuelling infrastructure and to help reach transport decarbonisation targets, the Commission should table the proposal to revise the 2014 directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure and also to focus on implementation across all member states.
The directive should cover not only the “core” Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), but also the TEN-T “comprehensive” network, they add.
MEPs welcome the Commission’s efforts to provide an additional EUR 800 million (USD 934 million) to support the uptake of alternative fuels infrastructure, but given the projected need for EUR 5.2 billion up to 2020, they urge it to increase the funding.
Projects to develop alternative fuels infrastructure should have access to grants and loans provided by the Connecting Europe Facility and the European Investment Bank, MEPs stress.
They also call EU member states to review their energy taxation frameworks in order to provide incentives for low-carbon and carbon-free fuels and remove present disparities in energy taxation between different transport modes.
Rapporteur Ismail Ertug (S&D, DE): “Today’s result is a strong signal that will facilitate the uptake of low- and zero emissions vehicles and therefore the overall goal of decarbonisation.
“Our initiative report urges the Commission to accelerate the revision of the Directive, come up with strong infrastructure targets and most importantly more funding for alternative fuels infrastructure. We already lost precious time due to the omission of the Commission and the inaction of EU member states – nevertheless it is not too late yet.”
“I am happy that the Transport Committee followed my recommendation urging the Commission for stronger targets and sufficient public funding. Furthermore, we strongly advocate the need of the rural areas for sufficient infrastructure, as there should be no European region lagging behind in the transition towards low-emission mobility,” he added.
The draft resolution will now need to be voted by the full house of the Parliament.
Note: this article is based on an informal message issued by the European Parliament ,