Saturday

28th May 2016

EU law to create market for electric cars

  • Sporty-looking electric car - but no plugs means no market, the commission says (Photo: asterix611)

Cars using alternative sources of clean energy are not finding a market due to a lack of fuelling stations and high price tags.

EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas told reporters in Brussels on Thursday (24 January) that member states must take the initiative to build the stations to help open the market, cut CO2 emissions and reduce dependency on oil.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We need to set targets to build the necessary fuel stations and make them compatible everywhere," he said.

Around 10 percent of the EU transport sector must run on renewable sources of energy by 2020 according to previous EU accords.

At the same time, the demand for energy is set to increase amid a dwindling supply of oil.

The hope is to reduce member state dependency on the fossil fuel that, according to an expert group on future transport fuels who advise the commission, will peak sometime this decade.

"Oil, the main energy source for transport overall, supplying 100 percent of road transport fuels is currently expected to reach depletion on the 2050 perspective," notes the Future Transport Fuels report penned by the advisory group in 2011.

For its part, the commission estimates daily oil costs for EU transport hovers around €1 billion but could increase given the political volatility of the regions where fossil fuel is most often located.

The Brussels executive wants to impose rigid guidelines and a minimum number of charging points for electrical vehicles to spur market demand as part of its legislative proposal on alternative fuels.

Member states will have 2020 as a deadline to meet the new targets with just under 10 million electrical vehicles expected around the same time.

The new terminal numbers vary widely among member states, with Germany having to put in the most at 150,000. It currently has just under 2,000 charging points, not enough for the some 1 million electric vehicles expected to hit its highways in the next few years.

Meanwhile, around a dozen member states have under 10 charging points like Hungary and Luxembourg.

“We also have to have one common plug for electric vehicles,” said the commissioner.

The Brussels-executive has settled on the German manufactured Type Two plug as an industry a EU-wide standard because it is currently the most widely used.

Electricity is not all the only alternative fuel source for cars. Hydrogen, biofuels, natural gas and liquefied natural gas are also in the mix.

The different energy sources will determine, to some extent, vehicle ranges.

Pro-green NGOs welcome the commission’s proposals to impose the infrastructure but caution that biofuels and liquefied natural gas still contribute to climate change.

“We don’t think that electrification is the Holy Grail of transport but it does offer better perspectives for low-carbon transport than liquefied natural gas,” Jos Dings, the director of Transport & Environment Brussels’ office, a pro-green advocacy network of 50 organisations, told this website.

Focus

EU's Arctic policy targets environment, Russia

Eight years in the making, the EU's new Arctic strategy focuses on environmental issues and speaks of "selective engagement" with Russia despite the Ukraine war.

News in Brief

  1. Syrian refugees sue Denmark over immigration law
  2. Ukraine bans Gorbachev for backing Crimea's seizure
  3. Dozens dead in two shipwrecks outside Libya
  4. Slovak PM says his country is no place for Muslims
  5. Juncker's spin-doctor warns of populist 'horror'
  6. EU urges Hungary to end discrimination of Roma children
  7. Majority of voters think UK will stay in EU
  8. Leading MEP says Greek bailout will not work

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCAEducation and Training 2020 - Giving Young People the Workplace Skills They Need
  2. EPSUTrade Unions Back New Undeclared Work Platform
  3. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCould targeting children’s fitness boost academic performance?
  4. World VisionDeclares the World Humanitarian Summit a Positive Step in a Longer Journey to Ending Need
  5. EJCPresident Dr. Moshe Kantor on Brexit and the Jewish Question
  6. Swedish EnterprisesNew rules for posted workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?
  7. World VisionWhy The EU Needs to Put Children at the Centre of Emergencies - In Their Words
  8. ACCASustainability Reporting in Danger of Losing Its Momentum Says ACCA and CDSB
  9. Dialogue PlatformDiversity as Heritage of Humanity! Join the “Colors of the World“ Show at the EP
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersNew Responses to the Basque Peace Process? MEP Juaristi on Stateless Challenges Conference
  11. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceImproving Cardiovascular Health Begins by Closing the Gap in Sex Disparities
  12. IPHRBrussels Talks to Take Stock of Human Rights in Turkmenistan