3 Apr 23

Europe sets mandatory national EV charge point numbers

Fleets engaged in decarbonising their vehicles have received reassurance about public charging opportunities after the European Parliament and Council reached an agreement over mandatory deployment targets for electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

The European Commission said the new Regulation for the deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (AFIR): “will end consumer concerns about the difficulty to recharge or refuel a vehicle.”

AFIR also promises full price transparency at public chargers and common minimum payment options.

Charge points and EV sales

The new rules force EU member states to ensure recharging infrastructure for cars and vans grows at the same pace as electric vehicle uptake.

This means that for every battery-electric car sold, a power output of 1.3kW must be provided by publicly accessible recharging infrastructure.

Moreover, from 2025 onwards, every 60 km along the trans-European transport (TEN-T) network, must have a rapid recharging station of at least 150kW.

Hydrogen infrastructure

The deadline for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is five years later, and mandates that pumps that can serve both cars and lorries must be deployed from 2030 onwards in all urban nodes as well as every 200km along the TEN-T core network.

The objective is to ensure a sufficiently dense network to allow hydrogen vehicles to travel across the EU.

EV confidence

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said: “The transition to zero-emission mobility has to be supported by the right infrastructure, ready for you when you need it, where you need it. Electric or otherwise, we want every driver in Europe to be certain that they can travel in confidence throughout the continent. With this agreement we ensure that there are sufficient and user-friendly options available throughout Europe, for both cars, and heavy-duty vehicles.”

The European Parliament and Council now have to adopt this political agreement, and once this has been done the new rules come into force after a transitional period of 6 months.

Decarbonising transport

Adina Valean, European Commissioner for Transport, said the new agreement took the EU a step closer to decarbonising mobility.

“It will ensure that citizens and transport and logistics companies alike can rely on a strong network for charging and refuelling infrastructure on our roads,” she said.

OEM reaction

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), welcomed the AFIR, but warned that its goals were well below those necessary to support the CO2 targets at which vehicle manufacturers are aiming.   

Sigrid de Vries, ACEA Director General, said: “Already today, a lack of charging and refuelling stations is severely hampering the market uptake of zero-emission vehicles.”

And, she added: “A significant ‘infrastructure gap’ will continue to limit CO2 reductions and the transition of our sector to climate neutrality.”

AFIR also applies to recharging stations for heavy-duty vehicles, which require a minimum output of 350kW. From 2025 onwards, AFIR mandates that these ultra-rapid chargers need to be deployed every 60km along the TEN-T core network, and every 100 km on the larger TEN-T comprehensive network, with complete network coverage to be achieved by 2030.

For nations to achieve this target, ACEA called on member states to ensure that planning and permitting processes are accelerated, power grids upgraded and suitable areas made available for truck-charging.


Image: Shutterstock

Authored by: Jonathan Manning