ACEA: Infrastructure regulation: More ambition and less flexibilities needed, auto makers say

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes EU member states’ adoption of their position on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) last week

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes the fact that EU member states took their position on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) last week.

“Rapid improvement of charging and refueling infrastructure is vital to decarbonise road transport,” said Eric-Mark Huitema, ACEA Director General. “We need rapid adoption of this important regulation to send the right signal to the markets.”

The European Commission presented its proposal for AFIR last year as part of its ‘Fit for 55’ climate package. This proposal sets mandatory targets for charging points and hydrogen filling 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 commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, however, these levels of ambition are far from sufficient to support a mass market introduction of zero-emission vehicles.

Huitema: “The Council’s position on AFIR simply does not guarantee the minimum infrastructure that car manufacturers will need to meet their CO2 targets.”

Policymakers should also be aware that setting phasing-in targets for trucks will effectively determine the CO2 reduction that will be possible in this segment.

ACEA also regrets that the Council has introduced several flexibilities. These deviations are based on parameters such as throughput volumes on the roads and ‘socio-economic cost-benefit analyses’.

There is already a very uneven distribution of infrastructure across the EU: about 70% of all charging points are centralized in four EU countries. “Allowing Member States to apply different infrastructure deployment rules would exacerbate this patchy situation,” warned Mr Huitema. “This should be avoided at all costs as it would discourage consumers from switching to alternative powertrains and hinder cross-border travel.”

ACEA is now calling on Member States, the European Parliament and the Commission to put more ambition into AFIR to ensure it aligns with the EU’s climate goals.


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