AFIR: How can the EU’s infrastructure law make Europe ‘fit for 55’?

November 18, 2021

The European Commission has presented a solid proposal on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), ensuring there is sufficient public charging infrastructure to follow the deployment of zero emission cars.

For cars, the shift towards e-mobility has gained traction in recent years and months and it will not take too much time before the market will provide the necessary infrastructure without regulatory intervention. Still, for the time being minimum targets and harmonised requirements are important to ensure a sufficient and comprehensive charging network throughout the continent – avoiding a two speed Europe. 

The zero-emission revolution of the road freight sector is imminent and will need to happen at a much higher pace compared to light duty vehicles. Serial production of zero emission trucks is starting with many OEMs having announced a sale-share of around 10% for 2025. AFIR must ensure charging and refueling infrastructure will help to facilitate this massive market uptake. 

If shipping wants to fully decarbonise by 2050, the use of green e-fuels must kick-start before 2030. One thing is clear: LNG does not serve this purpose but hinders it. First large zero-emission vessels are expected in the next few years, and will thus need adequate green refuelling infrastructure to be deployed on European seas. In parallel, strong and harmonised requirements on both ports and ships are key to make the use of shore-side electricity the default option in all European ports. 

Zero emission alternatives are gaining track across all modes of transport, therefore an ambitious agreement on the AFIR is instrumental to decarbonise the European transport sector in line with the EU’s Green Deal.

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