On 7 December 2021, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway submitted a joint EEA EFTA Comment on the legislative proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. This would repeal Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, which was published as a part of the FitFor55 Package. The main aim of the proposed regulation is to strengthen the policy on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in Europe for road vehicles, vessels and aircrafts.
The EEA EFTA States welcome the proposal and support a revised and strengthened policy on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in Europe. They recognise the urgent need to increase decarbonisation efforts in all transport modes in order to meet the commitments under the Paris Agreement as underlined in the EEA EFTA Comment on the European Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility. The development of alternative fuels infrastructure in the transport sector should primarily be left to the market, but governmental investment support in key areas where the infrastructure is still underdeveloped may be needed.
The EEA EFTA States have ambitious national targets for the introduction of zero-emission vehicles and low- and zero-emission vessels They rely on technological development, ambitious European legislation through the EEA Agreement, and active national and local policies to reach the targets. In the Comment, they underline that “Emission reductions in the transport sector are key to achieving our common ambitious climate goals. Combined with strengthened common European emission requirements for cars, vans and heavy-duty vehicles, the EEA EFTA States believe alternative fuels infrastructure is an important element for the successful phase-in of zero-emission vehicles in Europe.”
On a more specific level, the EEA EFTA States support the establishment of a coherent European fast-charging network for light-duty vehicles. However, requirements on total power output should serve as an indicator rather than a target and more flexibility should be provided with regard to the requirements on installed power output and maximum distance between recharging points.
Furthermore, the EEA EFTA countries welcome the inclusion of requirements on infrastructure for heavy-duty vehicles in the proposal. However, a different approach is needed for light-duty vehicles, since the current technology for electrified heavy-duty vehicles is still immature, and the further development of technology and market is unclear. Flexibility is therefore needed to provide certainty for investment in emerging technology.
In the Comment, the EEA EFTA States further welcome the emphasis on the importance of continued efforts to establish EU-wide technical standards for recharging and refuelling infrastructure, and on the development of standards for user-friendly information.
As regards maritime transport, the EEA EFTA States strongly support the use of alternative fuels and encourage the inclusion of provisions on standards for infrastructure for additional alternative zero emission fuels for maritime transport, such as hydrogen, ammonia and methanol, in the Regulation.
The EEA EFTA States call for a flexible approach to the requirements of shore-side electricity supply in remote ports in the Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) comprehensive network.
Read the full text of the EEA EFTA Comment here.
A full list of EEA EFTA Comments is available here.
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