Brussels, 15 April 2014
European Parliament vote "milestone" in the roll out of clean fuels for transport
Today the European Parliament gave its final approval to new EU rules to ensure the build-up of alternative refuelling points across Europe with common standards for their design and use, including a common plug for recharging electric vehicles. Policy initiatives so far have mostly addressed the actual fuels and vehicles, without considering fuels distribution. Efforts to provide incentives have been un-coordinated and insufficient.
Clean fuel is being held back by three main barriers: the high cost of vehicles, a low level of consumer acceptance, and the lack of recharging and refuelling stations. It is a vicious circle. With the new Directive, Member States will have to provide a minimum infrastructure for alternative fuels such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas, as well as common EU wide standards for equipment needed and user information.
EC Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "This is a major innovation and a milestone in the roll-out of clean fuels in Europe. These new rules are a direct response to calls from industry, investors, consumers and national authorities for a clear framework to set the future direction for clean fuels in Europe, to end uncertainty and allow investments to follow. This vote sends a clear signal that Europe is putting clean fuels at the heart of its transport policy, and the drive to develop a transport system fit for the 21st century."
The main measures agreed are:
Following the vote of the European Parliament, the new rules should be formally adopted by Council later this year.
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