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A denser network of high-speed recharging points will make it possible for motorists to drive across the EU without fear of running out of power under Commission proposals published today.   A common EU-wide plug has also been agreed to avoid drivers having to pack additional adapters when driving across EU borders. 

The two initiatives form part of the Commission's Clean Fuel Strategy which addresses the problem that at present the use of clean fuels, such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas, are being held back by three main barriers: the high cost of vehicles, a low level of consumer acceptance and the lack of recharging and refuelling stations.

    Driving green across Europe

    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.


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.


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    Last update: 24/01/2013  |Top