Industry News

EU Agrees Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure

by | Mar 30, 2023

The European Parliament and Commission have reached a landmark agreement to deploy hydrogen refuelling stations across the European Union’s main transport corridors and hubs.

The aim of the agreement is to enable the transition to zero-emission transport and contribute to the EU’s target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

The new regulation for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (AFIR) stipulates deployment targets for electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for the road sector, for shore-side electricity supply in maritime and inland waterway ports, and for electricity supply to stationery aircraft.

AFIR is set out to streamline the recharging and refuelling experience to ease consumer concerns about refuelling difficulties. It will also offer full price transparency, common minimum payment options and coherent customer information across the EU.

“With this agreement, we ensure that there are sufficient and user-friendly options available throughout Europe for both cars and heavy-duty vehicles,” said Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Green Deal.

The regulation states that hydrogen refuelling infrastructure suitable for cars and lorries must be available from 2030 onwards in all urban nodes and every 200km along the TEN-T core network to provide a sufficient service allowing hydrogen vehicles to travel across the EU.

The industry body Hydrogen Europe said the agreement is a satisfactory starting point that also lays out foundations for the use of hydrogen in maritime, aviation, and rail transport, but it does not meet industry standards.

The industry body added that it expects the 2026 revision of the regulation to include the comprehensive network.

“We are happy to see a timely conclusion to this piece of legislation, 21 months after the proposal was tabled, despite it falling short of what we believe are the minimal industry needs,” said Darko Levicar, Director of Mobility at Hydrogen Europe.

“We believe that by the foreseen AFIR revision in 2026, there will be enough hydrogen cars, vans, buses and trucks on the roads to justify an increase in targets,” Levicar added.

Under the legislation, each member state is required to provide infrastructure for 1.3kW of output for public electric car recharging, for fast recharging stations of at least 150kW installed every 60km along the TEN-T networks as of 2025.

Heavy-duty vehicles require recharging stations with a minimum output of 350kW to be deployed every 60km along the TEN-T core network and every 100km on the TEN-T comprehensive network, with full coverage by 2030.

Ports that accommodate 50 large passenger vessels or 100 container vessels must provide shore-side electricity by 2030, while airports must provide electricity for all contact stands by 2025 and for remote stands by 2030.

Furthermore, electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling operators are required to provide full-price transparency, offer diverse payment methods such as debit or credit cards, and provide customers with relevant data through electronic means.

The agreement has not yet been formally adopted. Upon completion, the new policies will be published by the Official Journal of the European Union and enforced after six months.

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