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Alternative fuel stations: Transport Committee backs draft law to expand networks
thursday, 28. November 2013
EU member states would have to ensure that specified numbers of electric vehicle recharging points and hydrogen and natural gas stations are built by 2020, under a draft directive endorsed by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday. The draft rules aim to reduce dependence on oil and boost take-up of alternative fuels, so as to help achieve a 60% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2050.
The draft rules would require member states to set targets for building publicly-available networks of electric vehicle recharging points and refuelling stations for other alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) by 2020.
Private sector players should play a leading role in developing this infrastructure, but member states should provide tax and public procurement incentives for them to do so, say MEPs.
Referring to the vote Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, said: "I am very pleased with the positive vote. It strengthens our proposal, especially as regards the minimum infrastructure coverage, information for consumers and innovation aspects. I am confident that ambitious measures will be adopted soon for the benefit of EU citizens and industry".
By 31 December 2020:
- a minimum number of recharging points for electric vehicles provided in the draft directive (see table below) would have to be put into place by member states, especially in towns,
- in countries where hydrogen refuelling points already exist, a sufficient number of refuelling points should be made available, at intervals not exceeding 300 km and with one station per 250.000 inhabitants in urban areas. MEPs added a requirement for building up numbers of hydrogen refuelling points in member states where they do not yet exist, with a deadline of 31 December 2030.
- for heavy duty vehicles, refuelling points for LNG along the roads on the TEN-T Core Network should be established at intervals not exceeding 400 km, including at least one loading point for LNG tank vehicles per country, and
- a sufficient number of CNG refuelling points should be available, at maximum intervals of 100 km and adding one station per 100.000 inhabitants in urban areas.
When setting targets, member states should pay particular attention to proving sufficient number of re-charging points and refuelling points in urban areas, say MEPs.
For maritime and inland navigation the compromise vote is less ambitious than the initial Commission proposal and foresees to provide LNG refuelling in "sufficient number" of maritime and inland ports of the TEN-T core network and within adequate distances, while also taking into account other elements of importance when stablishing a network of LNG refuelling.
Boosting take-up of alternative fuels and technical standars
Nationally-coordinated policy plans would have to include targets and measures to boost the take-up of alternative fuels, said the Transport Committee. These plans should also provide for the supply of “green” electricity and include targets for reducing urban congestion. MEPs pointed out that some funding for these plans could come from EU programmes such as Horizon 2020, the Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the Connecting Europe Facility. The Committee furthermore confirms the target to develop common technical standards for CNG and LNG refuelling stations and a gas quality compyling with the standards developed by CEN by 31 December 2015. Additionally, the vote includes a request that litre equivalent pricing may be additionally used, in order to overcome price comparison difficulties for the customer, when for example using kg measruement for CNG and kWh for electric vehicles.
The committee approved the draft directive by 30 votes to 7, with 0 abstentions and gave a mandate to rapporteur Carlo Fidanza (EPP, IT) to start negotiations with the Council with a view to reaching a final agreement in spring 2014.
NGVA Europe comment
The Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association welcomes the TRAN vote and particularly acknowledges that the Committee confirmed the deadline of 2020, which was under controversial discussion. The vote can be seen as a strong support for methane in transport. With the present vote the Rapporteur has been provided with a solid and constructive mandate to enter trilogue discussions and our industry will carry on to support the Rapporteur in convincing Member States that CNG and LNG, increasingly also coming from renewables, immediately help to reducing significantly emissions and diversify energy supply. Natural Gas Vehicles is the only mature technology for all types of vehicles and transport modes where products are broundly available and also enjoy cutomer acceptance.
NGVA Europe... for sustainable mobility