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Report: Application of the AFID

On 8 March 2021, the European Commission published a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of Directive (EU) 2014/94 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (AFID). The report states that AFID has been instrumental in triggering the development of policies and measures for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in Member States. Member States have implemented the Directive and developed their National Policy Frameworks (NPFs). Considering the differences between Member States, these policy frameworks have helped to create a long-term future perspective for electricity, natural gas and hydrogen infrastructure until 2030.

Furthermore, according to the Commission services' analysis, the Directive has had a positive impact on the diffusion of alternative fuel vehicles and their infrastructure. However, it also reveals shortcomings in the current policy framework. In the absence of a detailed and binding methodology for the calculation of targets and the adoption of measures by Member States, the level of ambition in setting targets and existing supporting measures varies widely between Member States. For example, the share of electric cars in the total vehicle fleet projected by Member States for 2030 varies from less than 1 per cent to more than 40 per cent. The report expresses very clearly that there is not yet a comprehensive and complete infrastructure network for alternative fuels and also that it is rather unlikely that under the current legal framework the required infrastructure network will be built across Europe in the coming years, even if all Member States meet their targets. This is also true for other alternative fuel infrastructure, especially waterborne transport. While the technical specifications developed under the Directive have proven to be highly relevant, new requirements for technical specifications have emerged under the Directive. These relate in particular to interoperability and the transparent exchange of information between the different actors within the electric vehicle charging ecosystem. Standards are needed for heavy-duty vehicle charging and liquid hydrogen refuelling. From the consumer's perspective, using alternative fuel infrastructure must be as easy as using conventional refuelling infrastructure. This requires that information about the location as well as the prices to be paid are available and that payment is seamless. The current policy framework has shortcomings and consumers may encounter problems, especially for cross- border journeys. In addition, public funding for publicly accessible charging or refuelling stations needs to be continued and focused on those parts of the network where private investment is not viable in order to achieve the Commission's targets of at least 1 million publicly accessible charging and refuelling stations by 2025. Further action at EU level is also needed to ensure that the development of interoperable and user-friendly charging and refuelling infrastructure goes hand in hand with the need to accelerate the uptake of vehicles and fuels across all transport modes. This requires strengthening the current policy framework at EU level to achieve the increased climate ambitions of the European Green Deal and avoid further barriers to market growth. The Commission is currently carrying out an impact assessment for the revision of AFID and will take into account the findings of this report as well as the results of the ongoing evaluation of the Directive in this context.


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