The Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Directive was adopted in 2014 to encourage the development of alternative fuel filling and charging stations in EU countries and called on Member States to draw up development plans for alternative fuel infrastructure.
In 2017, the Commission commissioned an assessment of the implementation of the directive to date. While noting that infrastructure development had started, the Commission stressed the need to accelerate infrastructure development along the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and in urban and suburban areas. Moreover, the plans were of varying degrees of completeness and ambition and did not provide long-term market certainty. Since then, the Commission has repeatedly talked about a planned revision of the directive but has been slow to act. Most recently, the Commission announced in its December 2019 Communication on the European Green Deal that it would revise the infrastructure directive for alternative fuels.
Car manufacturers and alternative fuel producers, clean energy advocates and the European Parliament had long been calling for a revision of the directive to ensure that sufficient infrastructure was in place in line with efforts to reduce emissions in the transport sector and to help achieve the climate and environmental goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the Green Deal. The move now to embed the European Green Deal was welcomed across the board. This step was reiterated in the Corona Economic Recovery Plan NextGenerationEU of 27 May 2020, in which the Commission stressed the importance of promoting and developing sufficient infrastructure for alternative fuels, electric vehicles, hydrogen technology and renewable energies.
On 4 April 2020, a public consultation was launched to assess the effectiveness of the Directive with the aim of proposing a revision in 2021. The roadmap annexed to the Green Deal also provides for a revision of the Directive in 2021. A Sustainable Transport Forum established by the Commission, composed of stakeholders and national experts, produced a report in November 2019 to feed into the evaluation of the Directive.