Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation: What You Need to Know

Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation: What You Need to Know

Author: Adriano Falcone

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On 14 July 2021, the European Commission published the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) proposal, which shall replace the current Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) as part of the “Fit for 55” Package set of policy initiatives.

The European Commission has opted for regulation this time, which must be directly applied in its entirety across the European Union. The Regulation form would be more effective in meeting the requirements and achieving the targets set for deploying a sufficient alternative fuels infrastructure in the EU Member States.

The previous legislative act failed in achieving its objectives, leading to an insufficient and uneven deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure at the EU level. The proposed Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation aims to tackle these failures and, in particular to:

  • Ensure that a sufficient number of publicly accessible alternative fuels infrastructure is deployed in all Member States;
  • Stimulate demand and uptake of zero and low emission vehicles;
  • Allow technical interoperability of recharging and refuelling infrastructure.

What’s in it?

To achieve these goals, the AFIR foresees:

  • Mandatory deployment targets;

Many targets have been set for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in the EU, allowing for the adoption of low and zero-emission vehicles – cars and vessels and aeroplanes. Setting mandatory targets aims to develop a common alternative fuel infrastructure throughout Europe, reducing the risk of insufficient and uneven deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure between and, in some cases, within the Member States.

  • Minimum distance, power output, and capacity requirements;

Minimum distance requirements have been established for electric vehicle charging points, both for high and low-duty vehicles, as well as hydrogen refuelling stations. The goal is to allow drivers of low and zero-emission vehicles to drive along EU highways without experiencing “range anxiety”. As the charging time is an additional barrier to the uptake of electric vehicles, power output and capacity requirements have been set to provide charging points throughout Europe sufficiently robust for a few minutes of charging operation.

  • Common technical specifications and related standards;

The proposal of regulation foresees the definition and implementation of appropriate technical requirements to ensure a smooth exchange of billing and charging session information, compatibility with smart charging, and vehicle to grid functionalities; information exchange among interoperable vehicles, infrastructure, and users, for instance, on the location and availability of recharging and refuelling points.

A step towards the decarbonisation of the transport system

The AFIR proposal is a vital legislative element of the “Fit for 55” package for meeting climate and energy goals. The decarbonisation of the transportation sector is critical in the energy transition process, and it necessitates adequate infrastructure to achieve the sector’s ambitious goals; the AFIR is an essential step in this direction.

Do you want to know more about how the regulation could affect your business? Please get in touch with our Consultant Jacopo Tosoni –