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EU Council adopts rules for EV recharging and hydrogen refuelling stations

The EU Council has adopted a final text of the alternative fuel infrastructure regulation (AFIR) on additional alternative fuel stations for light and heavy-duty vehicles (25 July).

“The new law is a milestone of our ‘Fit for 55’ policy providing for more public recharging capacity on the streets in cities and along the motorways across Europe. We are optimistic that in the near future, citizens will be able to charge their electric cars as easily as they do today in traditional petrol stations,” said Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, Spanish Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

From 2025 onwards, fast recharging stations of at least 150 kilowatts (kW) for electric vehicles (EV) will need to be installed every 60 km along the EU’s main transport corridors, ie. the Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) Network. In a proposal from the European Parliament, MEPs called for these charging stations to have an output of at least 400 kW.

In the same period, recharging stations for heavy-duty vehicles with a minimum output of 350kW will need to be deployed every 60 km along the TEN-T core network, and every 100 km on the larger TEN-T comprehensive network, with complete network coverage by 2030.

From 2030, hydrogen refuelling stations serving both cars and lorries must be deployed in all urban nodes and every 200 km along the TEN-T core network.

Maritime ports welcoming a minimum number of large passenger vessels, or container vessels, will also have to provide shore-side electricity for such vessels by the end of the 2020s. Airports will be obliged to provide electricity to stationary aircraft at all gates by 2025, and at all remote stands by 2030.

EU countries will need to offer easier payment methods (payment cards and contactless devices and without a need to have a subscription) for electric or hydrogen-fuelled vehicle users, in addition to full price transparency.

Operators of recharging or refuelling points will also have an obligation to provide consumers full information via electronic means on the availability, waiting time or price at different stations.

The new regulation will be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days after its publication. The new rules will apply from six months after the date of entry into force of the regulation.

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