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Clean transport, Urban transport

Alternative fuels for sustainable mobility in Europe

Alternative fuels are urgently needed to break the over-dependence of European transport on oil. Transport in Europe is 94 % dependent on oil, 84 % of it being imported, with a bill up to EUR 1 billion per day, and increasingly costly effects on the environment.

Research and technological development have led to successful demonstrations of alternative fuel solutions for all transport modes. Market take-up, however, requires additional policy action.

The Clean Power for Transport package aims to facilitate the development of a single market for alternative fuels for transport in Europe:

  • A Communication laying out a comprehensive European alternative fuels strategy [COM(2013)17 ], for the long-term substitution of oil as energy source in all modes of transport;
  • A proposal for a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels recharging and refuelling infrastructure [COM(2013)18 ];
  • An accompanying Impact Assessment [SWD(2013)5 ];
  • A Staff Working Document setting out the needs in terms of market conditions, regulations, codes and standards for a broad market uptake of LNG in the shipping sector [SWD(2013)4 ].

The final Directive, as adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 29 September 2014 following the inter-institutional negotiations:

  • Requires Member States to develop national policy frameworks for the market development of alternative fuels and their infrastructure;
  • Foresees the use of common technical specifications for recharging and refuelling stations;
  • Paves the way for setting up appropriate consumer information on alternative fuels, including a clear and sound price comparison methodology.

The required coverage and the timings by which this coverage must be put in place is as follows:

Coverage

Timings

Electricity in urban/suburban and other densely populated areas

Appropriate number of publically accessible points

by end 2020

CNG in urban/suburban and other densely populated areas

Appropriate number of points

by end 2020

CNG along the TEN-T core network

Appropriate number of points

by end 2025

Electricity at shore-side

Ports of the TEN-T core network and other ports

by end 2025

Hydrogen in the Member States who choose to develop it

Appropriate number of points

by end 2025

LNG at maritime ports

Ports of the TEN-T core network

by end 2025

LNG at inland ports

Ports of the TEN-T core network

by end 2030

LNG for heavy-duty vehicles

Appropriate number of points along the TEN-T core network

by end 2025

 

The Member States have two years to submit their national policy frameworks. The Commission will then assess and report on those national policy frameworks in order to ensure coherence at Union level.

 

Policy and other related documents

Clean fuels for transport: Member States now obliged to ensure minimum coverage of refuelling points for EU-wide mobility

EU launches clean fuel strategy

Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure

Summary of the Impact Assessment

Staff Working Document: Actions towards a comprehensive EU framework on LNG for shipping