Electric mobility is clearly on the rise. In the second week of September, 2019, vehicle manufacturers presented their latest electric vehicle models at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). Prices for the vehicles start below €30,000. However, new affordable vehicles are only one side of the coin. The other side is ensuring a complete and interoperable network of recharging infrastructure. The development of this infrastructure and its services will need to go hand in hand with the expected uptake of vehicles: you need to be able to recharge your vehicle everywhere, easily.
Many vehicle manufacturers as well as NGOs now warn that a lack of infrastructure, in particular in cities, may become a bottleneck for the uptake of battery-electric and other alternatively fuelled vehicles. At the European level, a number of initiatives are already addressing current and future needs in this sector. The Commission has started a review of the Directive on the Deployment of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure (AFID). It provides the opportunity to discuss achievements and shortcomings, including new challenges. These include, for example, interoperability of recharging stations with respect to payment systems or user information. The Commission will launch an open public consultation in early 2020.
Urban areas are in the spotlight for this discussion. The revised guidelines for Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans address needs for the roll out of infrastructure in urban areas. Last but not least, innovative financing under the Connecting Europe Facility is helping with infrastructure roll out and fleet conversion, particularly in the area of public transport.
The months ahead will provide an opportunity to continue the discussion on future needs and policy action.
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