Car-recharging stations should be available every 60 km, say MEPs 

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  • Faster roll-out of recharging stations needed on main EU roads 
  • Easy to use and affordable recharging/refuelling 
  • Fewer emissions in the maritime sector 
MEPs want car-recharging stations every 60 km © Tapui / Adobe Stock  

To help the EU become climate neutral, MEPs want car-recharging stations every 60 km, hydrogen refuelling stations every 100 km and fewer emissions from ships.

On Wednesday, Parliament adopted its position on draft EU rules aimed at spurring the deployment of recharging and alternative refuelling stations (such as electric or hydrogen) for cars, trucks, trains and planes and supporting the uptake of sustainable vehicles. The new rules are part of the “Fit for 55 in 2030 package”, the EU’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

More recharging/refuelling stations

MEPs agreed to set minimum mandatory national targets for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. Member states will have to present their plan by 2024 on how to achieve it.

According to the adopted text, by 2026 there should be at least one electric charging pool for cars every 60 km along main EU roads. The same requirement would apply for trucks and buses, but only on core TEN-T networks and with more powerful stations. There will be some exemptions for outermost regions, islands and roads with very little traffic.

MEPs also suggest setting up more hydrogen refuelling stations along main EU roads (every 100 km as opposed to every 150 km, as proposed by the Commission) and to do it faster (by 2028 instead of by 2031).

Simple recharging

Alternative refuelling stations should be accessible to all vehicle brands and payment should be easy. They should display the price per kWh or per kg and it should be affordable and comparable. MEPs also want an EU access point for alternative fuels data to be set up by 2027 to provide information on the availability, waiting times and prices at different stations across Europe.

Sustainable maritime fuels

MEPs also adopted their position on draft EU rules on the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport. Parliament wants the maritime sector to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships by 2% as of 2025, 20% as of 2035 and 80% as of 2050 compared to 2020 level (the Commission proposed a 13% and 75% reduction).

This would apply for ships above a gross tonnage of 5000, in principle responsible for 90% of CO2 emissions, to all energy used on board in or between EU ports, and to 50% of energy used on voyages where the departure or arrival port is outside of the EU or in its outermost regions.

MEPs also set a target of 2% of renewable fuels usage and mandated containerships and passenger ships to use on-shore power supply while at berth at main EU ports as of 2030. This would significantly reduce air pollution in ports.

To ensure compliance, MEPs favour the introduction of penalties. Revenues generated from these should go to the Ocean Fund and contribute to decarbonising the maritime sector, energy efficiency and zero-emission propulsion technologies.


EP rapporteur on alternative fuels infrastructure Ismail Ertug (S&D, DE) said: “At the moment we have 377 000 charging stations in the EU, but this is half the amount that should have been achieved had EU countries lived up to their promises. We need to tackle this decarbonisation bottleneck and quickly roll out the alternative fuels infrastructure to save the Green Deal.”

EP rapporteur on sustainable maritime fuels Jörgen Warborn (EPP, SE) stressed: “This is by far the world’s most ambitious pathway to maritime decarbonisation. Parliament's position ensures that our climate targets will be met rapidly and effectively, safeguarding the maritime sector's competitiveness and ensuring there won’t be carbon leakage or jobs leaving Europe.”

Next steps

The negotiating mandate on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure was adopted by 485 votes to 65 and 80 abstentions and on sustainable maritime fuels by 451 votes to 137 and 54 abstentions. Parliament is now ready to start negotiations with member states.