By 2026, drivers of electric cars on European highways should be able to charge their vehicles at least every 60 kilometres. The European Parliament proposed this on Wednesday.
The parliament wants member states to present a plan to roll out infrastructure for alternative fuels by 2024. Fast charging stations should become an essential part of the plan. The MPs ask, among other things, that a charging station for passenger cars must be available on the highways every 60 kilometres by 2026.
The obligation should also apply to trucks and buses, but only on a more limited network of motorways. In addition, at least two charging stations should be installed in all truck parking areas by 2028. This goes further than the European Commission proposed: it wanted one charging station by 2031.
The MEPs are also more ambitious than the Commission regarding the roll-out of hydrogen stations. The Commission had proposed a hydrogen station every 150 kilometres by 2031, but parliament has revised that to one station every 100 kilometres by 2028.
The transport sector remains one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions in the European Union. The accelerated rollout of fast chargers and hydrogen stations is part of a package of legislation that aims to make the EU climate neutral by 2050, with a 55 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 as the first step.
The objectives are contained in a regulation, which makes them directly applicable in the Member States. The Commission had already proposed a directive on charging stations in 2013, but the Member States have seriously undermined that initiative, the German rapporteur Ismail Ertug has accused. “There are currently 377,000 charging stations in the EU, but that is only half of what we could have achieved if the Member States had kept their promises.”
MEPs have yet to negotiate with the Member States on the regulation. However, the negotiating mandate was already approved on Wednesday with 485 votes to 65 (80 abstentions).