Lithuania adopted its Law on Alternative Fuels to increase the number of electric vehicles and charging stations and to accelerate the use of cleaner fuels in its transport sector. The law paves the way for more renewable energy sources, accelerates electrification, encourages the use of biomethane and hydrogen gas and steps up biofuel blending requirements.
The law is considered a major milestone to achieve climate-neutrality targets as the transport sector is currently one of the largest energy consumers in Lithuania. Renewables accounted for a mere 4.04 per cent of final energy consumption in the transport sector in 2019. Advanced biofuels are not used and the infrastructure of alternative fuels is underdeveloped. The government plans to change this over the next decade.
“Lithuania has already made a breakthrough in other areas of renewable energy and now it’s time to transform the transport sector as well,” underlined Vice-Minister of Energy Daiva Garbaliauskaitė.
“These changes will allow us not only to reduce environmental pollution but to attract new investments as well,” she added.
Lithuania approved the draft law on alternative fuels last summer, to help the country increase to 15 per cent the share of renewable energy sources in the transport sector. The draft Law on Alternative Fuels established clear directions for the development of alternative fuel vehicles and the infrastructure required for them.
E-mobility is also in the focus. The government will provide financial support to ensure that every tenth car in Lithuania is powered by electricity. This will involve the development of the charging infrastructure, with the goal of installing 6,000 public electric vehicle charging stations by 2030. There are also plans to approve an action plan for the development of electric mobility, which will set the directions and priorities for the development of the electric vehicle infrastructure.
The law also aims to transform the freight transport sector by expanding the network of alternative fueling stations, promoting the purchase of clean vehicles and supporting the use of renewable fuels. Lithuania sees big potential in biomethane and hydrogen gas and hopes to see these alternative fuels accounting for at least 5 per cent of final energy consumption in the transport sector by 2030.
The new law will introduce progressively increasing obligations for fuel suppliers regarding the use of biofuels. In order to encourage the use of biomethane and other advanced biofuels and hydrogen, their blending will be offset by twice the energy value.
As of 2026, all cars and buses purchased through public procurement will have to be green, and by 2029, all public road passenger transport, including taxis and vehicles used by individuals providing transport services, will have to use alternative fuels. Switching to clean vehicles will be incentivised by introducing low-emission zones in cities thus improving urban air quality.
As the transformation in the next ten years will require significant investments the law also established the Sustainable Mobility Fund for the implementation of the alternative fuels policy. Lithuania is also counting on funds from the European Recovery and Resilience Facility and the European Union Structural Funds to implement the transformation of its transport sector envisioned in the law.