The EPP Group warns against a deadlock of the adoption of electric cars due to the lack of charging points and calls for a massive push in rolling out the necessary infrastructure.
“The ban of combustion engine cars from 2035 onwards ignores the reality many citizens are facing - even more now with soaring energy prices. There is a danger that new charging and fuelling infrastructure is not sufficiently developed in all Member States, leaving consumers with cars they cannot use. To limit the damage, we must push for an enormous infrastructure rollout, which is accessible and easy for customers to use”, said Jens Gieseke MEP, the EPP Group negotiator of the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), ahead of today’s Plenary vote.
“Charging and refuelling points should also be equally distributed in Europe so this policy becomes a success story of the whole EU, and not only a success story of a few richer EU countries”, stressed Gieseke.
The aim of the AFIR law proposal, which is part of the Fit for 55 package, is to ensure a sufficient infrastructure network for charging and refuelling road vehicles and vessels with alternative fuels. MEPs are set to call for charging stations for light-duty vehicles every 60km along main EU roads by the end of 2025. For charging infrastructure for heavy-duty vehicles, the maximum distance is set at 100km. Hydrogen refuelling stations shall be deployed along the main EU roads every 100km by the end of 2027. Deployment exemptions are foreseen for low traffic roads. Moreover, users of alternative fuel vehicles should be able to compare prices fairly.
“We must push Member States to do their homework and invest in the rollout of new charging and fuelling infrastructure. However, we also have to be cautious and build infrastructure that is of actual use to our citizens. The sledgehammer strategy of the Greens and Social Democrats ignores that infrastructure deployment only makes sense if the cost is proportionate to the benefit and if it is based on sound analysis. Completely new targets should only be set if we know what we are doing. Otherwise, it is just a shot in the dark and a potential waste of money”, concluded Gieseke.
With today’s vote on the AFIR, the European Parliament is setting out its position and will be ready to start negotiations with EU Member States on the final text of the legislation.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States