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UPDATE: European Parliament backs mandatory EU-wide rollout of charging stations

09 December 2013

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The European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee endorsed a draft EU directive mandating Member States to ensure at least a certain minimum number of publicly available electric vehicle (EV) charging points are installed by 2020. The report adopted on 26 November introduces the notion of wireless charging and supports the Commission’s provision regarding standards. Update: On 5 December 2013, EU Member States have adopted a general approach that foresees minimum infrastructure for EVs to be in place by 2030.
The proposal aims at solving a "chicken and egg" problem: refuelling stations for alternative fuels are not built because there are not enough vehicles while consumers do not buy the vehicles because there are not enough charging points. To overcome this, the proposal foresees a minimum coverage for electricity, hydrogen and natural gas refuelling infrastructure for road and sea transport, and their corresponding standards.

"I am very pleased with the positive vote. It strengthens our proposal, especially as regards the minimum infrastructure coverage, information for consumers and innovation aspects. I am confident that ambitious measures will be adopted soon for the benefit of EU citizens and industry," said European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, after the vote in the Parliament’s Transport Committee.

Wireless charging & common standard for charging points

In view of the ongoing development of standards for wireless charging and anticipated increased future use, the Parliament’s report supports the inclusion of technical specifications for wireless charging in the directive.

The Parliament supports the objective of a single standard as indicated in the European Commission proposal. For the Direct Current (DC) fast recharging points for electric vehicles it foresees a transitional period until 31 December 2018, during which ‘CHAdeMO’ type connectors can be deployed before the Combo technology is fully ready. Currently there are more than 650 ‘CHAdeMO’ chargers installed in Europe, with a further 1,000 to be deployed by the end of 2013.

National policy plans & targets for minimum charging stations

The European Parliament’s Transport Committee requests Member States to set national targets that are at least in line with the minimum requirements regarding the number of recharging points for EVs per country set by the Commission in its January proposal.

These national targets will have to be included in the national policy framework that each Member State must develop. The plans would have to include others measures providing for the supply of ‘green’ electricity for EVs as well as provisions related to the reduction of urban congestion and the deployment of electrified public transport. In line with European transport policy goals in support of multimodal transport, the deployment of electric vehicles should be integrated with railway and public transport infrastructure, as well as freight railway and logistic terminal infrastructure wherever possible.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have pointed out that some of the funding for these plans could come from EU programs such as Horizon 2020, the Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the Connecting Europe Facility.

Member States adopt general approach

Shortly after the vote in the European Parliament, the EU Member States adopted their position on the minimum infrastructure for alternative fuels across Europe in the Transport Council on 5 December 2013. The position foresees that the national targets are based on comprehensive analyses submitted by Member States to the European Commission and the minimum infrastructure should be in place by 2030.

Next steps

In the vote on 26 November 2013, the Members of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee gave the rapporteur Carlo Fidanza the mandate to start negotiations with the Council with a view to reaching a final agreement in spring 2014, before the European Parliament’s elections.


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