Wednesday

14th Nov 2018

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"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.

EU to review animal welfare strategy

European Court of Auditors found there were "still some significant discrepancies between the animal welfare standards established in the EU legislation and the reality on the ground".

Analysis

Why Brazil's election matters to Brussels

Jair Bolsonaro could render the EU's climate action meaningless, if the newly elected leader of Latin America's biggest country follows through with plans to allow massive deforestation.

News in Brief

  1. Czechs join other EU states in rejecting UN migration pact
  2. EU Commission to give verdict on Italy budget next week
  3. EU's Tusk is Poland's most trusted politician
  4. Finland prepares to step in for Romania on EU presidency
  5. Trump threatens tariffs on EU wine
  6. US defence chief backs Nato amid 'EU army' calls
  7. Italy defies EU deadline on changing budget
  8. Report: FBI looking into Brexiteers Farage and Banks

Opinion

Crunch time to end overfishing in the EU

What happens when a difficult deadline hits? This is precisely what is being played out in EU fisheries as we approach the landmark legal commitment under the Common Fisheries Policy to end overfishing by 2020.

Opinion

No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected

Following the 2030 renewable target of 32 percent, chair of the European Parliament's environment committee Adina Valean argues in order to reach our climate and energy goals, we need both public and private investment over the next decade and beyond.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability
  2. Knives out on all sides for draft Brexit deal
  3. Romania data chief defends forcing press to reveal sources
  4. EU to review animal welfare strategy
  5. Macron's 'European army': why is everyone talking about it?
  6. Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army
  7. Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline
  8. EU action on Hungary and Poland drowns in procedure

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us