Members' Research Service By / November 19, 2021

Alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure and fleets: State of play

The deployment of publicly available electric charging points has been uneven across the EU, with nearly 80 % of the more than 208 000 publicly available charging points (as of end 2020) located in five Member States (the Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden and Italy).

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Written by Jaan Soone.

In December 2019 the European Commission published a communication on the Green Deal, in which it outlined its priorities to transform the EU into a resource-efficient and competitive economy and to meet the EU’s climate commitments.

Subsequently, in line with the Green Deal, the European Climate Law was adopted in July 2021, setting in law the EU target for 2030 of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % compared with 1990 levels. To deliver the targets agreed in the European Climate Law, the Commission adopted a set of legislative proposals known as the ‘Fit for 55’ package on 14 July 2021. To speed up emissions reductions in transport, the package includes proposals to tighten the emissions trading scheme and widen its scope, proposals to increase the use of alternative fuels in aviation and shipping, stricter CO2 emissions standards for road vehicles, and a proposal to amend the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) and transform it into a regulation.

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This briefing provides a snapshot of the current state of play in alternative fuels recharging and refuelling points, and in the number of alternative fuel vehicles in circulation in EU countries. Since the adoption of the AFID in 2014, infrastructure deployment for the various alternative fuels in road transport has grown, however differences persist between Member States. Similarly, the uptake of alternatively fuelled vehicles differs between Member States, and petrol and diesel engines continue to dominate vehicle fleets. Nonetheless, the market for electric vehicles has strongly matured, and the market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles has also developed. The market for natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles is mature and has seen slow growth, but vehicles have remained concentrated in a few Member States. The briefing also summarises recent projections for future take-up of these vehicles.

See also the EPRS ‘EU Legislation in progress’ briefing on the revision of the Directive on the Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (AFID).

Read the complete briefing on ‘Alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure and fleets: State of play‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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