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EU Changes Its Stance On EV And Hydrogen Charging Stations

By raccars Published

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The EU has abolished previous targets set for member countries to install a certain amount of electric vehicle and hydrogen charging stations by 2020. While recommendations are still in place, official targets have been removed from the new laws surrounding alternative fuels.

This is good news for the UK, which looked set to fall 64,000 EV charging stations short of its 70,000 unit target. However, governments can now work on the development of national action plans instead and have been advised to make sure an 'appropriate' rather than a fixed amount of public charging points are in place by 2020. As a result, the concept of 'e-mobility' is unlikely to evolve at an even rate across Europe, but reviews are programmed for 2017 and 2018.

Transport & Environment, an alternative fuels campaign group, is unimpressed with the new regulations, claiming it will prevent fair competition for alternative fuels with oil based transport energy.

Despite the removal of EU targets, the UK will continue to expand its growing network of charging stations. As part of the government's Go Ultra Low campaign, there should be another 200 EV public charging points across the UK by the end of this year, but support for hydrogen filling stations is far less forthcoming.

The European Parliament's alternative fuel law was approved earlier this year to come into effect by the end of October, designed to reduce the continent's dependence upon fossil fuels and cut transport CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050. The original bill required hydrogen refuelling stations to be made available to the public every 300km in countries with any existing stations. Countries without any hydrogen refuelling stations were required to develop a network by the end of 2030.

As part of the same law, the electricity used to charge EVs should be environmentally friendly in origin, targets should be set for the reduction of urban congestion and public transport services should deploy more electrified vehicles. Some common technical standards were also set to allow for a cohesive charging network Europe wide - in this case, for the German developed Type 2 plug. The aim is for EVs and hydrogen powered cars to achieve free movement within European cities by 2020, while provisions have also been made for the expansion of a compressed natural gas fuelling network on European highways.

Of the EU's 200 million strong passenger car fleet, only about 11,000 of these are electric powered and about a million run on CNG.

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