MEP David McAllister on electric charging and hydrogen fuelling of cars
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MEP David McAllister on electric charging and hydrogen fuelling of cars

The EPP Group wants Europe to become climate-neutral by 2050 in a way that does not only reduce carbon emissions, but also brings innovation and creates jobs. For new car technology to work, we need major investments in the rollout of new charging and fuelling infrastructure. We want cars to be able to recharge electricity every 60km or refuel hydrogen every 100km. Also, ships at ports should get onshore power supply to reduce carbon emissions.

People will buy electric cars only if there are enough charging points along Europe’s roads. Therefore, the new Regulation on alternative fuels infrastructure (AFIR) requires EU Member States to build the necessary infrastructure. We want that charging electric cars becomes almost as convenient as refuelling traditional cars. To this end, we need more, fairer distributed and better accessible charging points for electric vehicles in Europe. Currently, around 70% of charging points in the EU are in three countries only – the Netherlands, France and Germany. Now, Member States must do their homework. Every new charging point costs thousands of Euros, which is why we must consider carefully where we build it.

We need infrastructure which is easy for customers to use. We do not want hundreds of different apps and payment methods, but infrastructure which is accessible and user-friendly. Also, information on the availability and prices at different stations should be clear for consumers. The EPP Group is unambiguously in favour of rolling out alternative fuel infrastructure. But we regret that there is a majority, both in the European Parliament and among EU Member States, that simply wants to forbid new combustion engine cars after 2035. In our view, there could have been a space for climate-neutral biofuels and e-fuels (synthetic fuels). The EPP Group wanted an ambitious but fair reduction target without phasing out any technology from the top. When combustion engine cars are forbidden, if new charging and fuelling infrastructure is not ready, there is a danger that people will be left with empty batteries and H2 tanks and ultimately without cars they can use. To at least limit the damage, we must now massively push for an enormous infrastructure rollout to make sure that e-charging and hydrogen refuelling can happen.