This week, the European Parliament and Council reached an ambitious, yet realistic deal on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR). The co-legislators ensured that this Regulation supports the needed shift to sustainable means of transport and mobility. As part of the Fit for 55 package, this text lays down minimum distance and fleet-based criteria requirements for the deployment of much-needed alternative fuels infrastructure across the EU. Moreover, it sets out the objective to have enough public charging stations for cars and trucks on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) towards the end of the decade.
The agreement supports an ambitious approach to boost the rollout of charging infrastructure for cars and trucks, while at the same time making sure that charging points are user friendly. This will be done by enlarging the range of possibilities to pay for charging services, including by debit or credit card or contactless means of payment.
Beyond road transport, this Regulation also establishes minimum infrastructure deployment targets for other means of transport, such as shore-side electricity supply in maritime and inland ports, as well as electricity supply at airports. This will ensure that emissions at ports and airports will decrease, which is good news for the transport sector and people living around these areas.
Finally, the Regulation includes several key points initiated by Renew Europe, including foundations for sustainable rail transport infrastructure outside of the TEN-T network. Member States also now have the possibility to appoint a national coordinator overseeing the implementation of the Regulation at the national level - ensuring an efficient rollout of alternative fuels infrastructure.
It is therefore clear that this is a multimodal effort supporting Europe to achieve its ambition to decrease emissions by 55% by 2030.
Caroline Nagtegaal MEP (VVD, NL), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur for the AFIR Regulation in the European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee, said:
“We have taken a decision on what is necessary for a future-proof transport sector. With this deal, we will ensure the availability and usability of a dense, widespread network of alternative fuels infrastructure throughout the EU. This is needed in order to ensure that cleaner vehicles, vessels and stationary aircraft on the TEN-T network are able to move through the EU at ease, enabled by key infrastructure along European motorways and in our ports and airports. Only then, clean mobility and transport will become a reality!”