Clean fuel will save money and improve efficient transport within the EU

The Transport committee in the European Parliament today backed a proposal for a new directive which foresees the deployment of alternative fuel stations across Europe, so that the European Union moves from highly fossil-energy dependent transport to clean power.

European companies are investing in clean transport and EU citizens are very keen to use it, but until now one of the main problems has been the lack of recharging and refuelling stations and the incompatibility of systems in different EU countries. This directive sets out minimum requirements for alternative fuels infrastructure and common technical specifications, including recharging points for electric vehicles and refuelling points for natural gas (LNG and CNG) and hydrogen*.

S&D spokesperson on the issue MEP Ismail Ertug said:

“This is an important step towards breaking the oil dependence of the European transport sector. We, Socialists and Democrats have pushed for a target of a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport by 2050.

“The lack of coordination has undermined the use of clean power in Europe, but once this directive is implemented, there will be more transparency, as well as close cooperation between regional, and local authorities and stakeholders in the adoption of the national policy frameworks which will set national targets for the development of alternative fuels in the different transports modes.

“It is also foreseen that the build-up of alternative fuels infrastructure should take into account the needs of SMEs and we want the energy supply to electric vehicles to be green electricity.

“We have insisted in setting mandatory targets in determining the minimum number of publicly accessible electric recharging points per member state by 2020 but have adjusted the number demanded to a more realistic level.

“The security of supply within EU territory along with  a more transparent price policy and the introduction of intelligent metering systems will encourage investors and consumers .

“Europe will soon have the most modern and clean transport networks in the world, and save millions of euros in oil imports.”

* Note to the editors:

  • Electricity: A minimum number of recharging points, using a common plug will be required for each member state.
  • Hydrogen: Existing filling stations will be linked up to form a network with common standards.
  • Biofuels: already have nearly 5% of the market. They work as blended fuels and do not require any specific infrastructure. 
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is used for waterborne transport both at sea and on inland waterways. The directive proposes that LNG refuelling stations be installed in all 139 maritime and inland ports on the Trans European Core Network by 2020 and respectively 2025. LNG: is also used for trucks, but there are only 38 filling stations in the EU. By 2020, refuelling stations should be installed every 400 km along the roads of the Trans European Core Network.
  • Compressed natural gas (CNG) is mainly used for cars. One million vehicles currently use this fuel representing 0.5% of the fleet. The EU shall ensure that publically accessible refuelling points, with common standards, are available with maximum distances of 150 Km by 2020.