Infrastructure regulation: More ambition and less flexibilities needed, ACEA says
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes the fact that EU member states adopted their position on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) last week.
“A rapid ramp-up of charging and refuelling infrastructure is vital to decarbonise road transport,” stated Eric-Mark Huitema, ACEA’s Director General. “We need a swift adoption of this important Regulation to send the right signal to the markets.”
The European Commission put forward its proposal for AFIR as part of its ‘Fit for 55’ climate package last year. This proposal sets mandatory targets for charging points and hydrogen refuelling stations in all 27 EU member states.
As part of its ‘general approach’, the Council maintained the Commission’s infrastructure targets for both light- and heavy-duty vehicles. Unfortunately however, these ambition levels are far from sufficient to support a massive market uptake of zero-emissions vehicles.
Huitema: “The Council’s position on AFIR simply does not guarantee the minimum levels of infrastructure that will be needed for vehicle manufacturers to meet their CO2 targets.”
Policymakers must also be aware that setting phase-in targets for trucks will effectively determine the CO2 reductions that will be possible in this segment.
ACEA also regrets that the Council introduced several flexibilities. These derogations are based on parameters such as transit volumes on the roads and ‘socio-economic cost-benefit’ analyses.
There already is a very uneven spread of infrastructure across the EU, with some 70% of all charging points centralised in four EU countries. “Allowing member states to apply different rules on infrastructure deployment would aggravate this patchy situation,” cautioned Huitema. “This should be avoided at all costs, as it would disincentivise consumers from switching to alternative powertrains and hamper cross-border travel.”
ACEA now calls on member states, the European Parliament and the Commission to insert more ambition into AFIR in order to ensure that it is in line with the EU’s climate targets.