EC Vice President Siim Kallas responsible for Transport said: "Developing innovative and alternative fuels is an obvious way to make Europe's economy more resource efficient, to reduce our overdependence on oil and develop a transport industry which is ready to respond to the demands of the 21st century. Between them, China and the US plan to have more than 6 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020. This is major opportunity for Europe to establish a strong position in a fast growing global market."
The Commission's proposed binding targets for a minimum level of infrastructure, ie recharging and refuelling stations for clean fuels, as well as common EU-wide standards for equipment, will provide industry, the public sector and consumers with a clear and coherent vision for alternative fuel transport systems.
For the UK this will mean an increase from 703 electric charging points (2011 figures) to 122,000 by 2020.
The picture across Europe varies greatly with the number of charging points as high as 1,937 in Germany, the Netherlands (1,700), France, (1,600) down to just a few or in some countries, none at all.
The EU-wide common plug will be "Type 2" as it is the most used plug in the EU today.
It is expected that the measures can be introduced without the use of public money by changing local regulations to encourage private sector investment and behaviour. For example: stipulating in planning requirements that a new supermarket should offer a certain number of recharging points.
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Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.