EU negotiators agree targets for EV charging network expansion

Charging points for electric cars should be available at least every 60km on Europe's main road network by 2026, EU negotiators agreed on Tuesday. The target is part of a provisional agreement reached between negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU Council.

The agreement follows a European Commission proposal published in the summer of 2021, in the wake of the new climate law, which raised Europe's ambitions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The target is now a cut of 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. It aims to give a regulatory boost to the installation of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and those that allow hydrogen refuelling.

The new rules, which need the final green light from the Parliament and the member states, cover road transport (passenger cars and heavy goods vehicles), ships at berth and aircraft on the ground.

The electrification of the European car fleet should be accelerated by a ban on new non-CO2-neutral cars and vans from 2030, a text that was definitively validated on Tuesday.

Efficient network required

While the 27 member states have resolutely chosen the path of "full electric" for passenger cars, this ambition requires an efficient and coherent public network of charging stations. The number of electric cars has increased 17-fold since 2016, but the number of charging stations has only increased six-fold, said the rapporteur on the dossier, German MEP Ismail Ertug.

The existing directive on alternative fuel infrastructure does not set binding numerical targets for each country. This will change with the new text, which introduces basic standards.

These include a minimum total capacity of the publicly accessible charging network, depending on the number of battery electric vehicles registered in the member state, and a minimum requirement for the coverage of main roads, whether for electric charging of cars or larger vehicles, or for hydrogen refuelling.

By 2026, there should be at least one charging point every 60km on the TEN-T core network for light vehicles. The charging capacity will be revised upwards by 2028.

The agreement also includes a requirement for a charging point every 120km for trucks and buses, to be installed on half of the EU's main roads by 2028. Under pressure from the Council, relaxations will be introduced for roads with less traffic and more remote areas.




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