Car sector worried about electricity supplies
The European car manufacturers association ACEA has issued a warning about the charging infrastructure and hydrogen distribution in Europe in the future. In addition, Belgian car sector representative Mobia worries about the amount of electricity needed.
ACEA is worried about AFIR (Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation), the key piece of legislation proposed by the EU Commission to ensure sufficient deployment of public infrastructure.
Not ambitious enough
According to ACEA, the AFIR targets are far from ambitious enough, especially when there are signals that some member states want to dilute the ambition even more instead of increasing it.
Attempts by the Slovenes (at the moment presiding the EU) to reach a compromise spoke about delaying the timeline for deployment, lowering the power output of future charging stations, and increasing the allowed maximum distance between infrastructure.
“The European manufacturers are seriously concerned about the overall lack of ambition of the Commission’s AFIR proposal in the first place. If some member states get their way, that will make the expected CO2 reductions that go with it even less realistic,” notes ACEA.
“The EU auto industry is ready to build all those electric and hydrogen cars, but as part of AFIR, some 7 million public charging points will need to be deployed to reach the car CO2 targets that are foreseen by the Commission, instead of the 3,9 million in the current proposal,” says Petr Dolejsi, Mobility & Sustainable Transport Director at ACEA.
In their aim to obtain a better energy supplying infrastructure, ACEA is teaming up with some unexpected allies. For example, while ACEA and the NGO Transport & Environment weren’t always aligned in the past, there has been an increasing level of agreement and cooperation between them lately. Especially when it comes to advocating the need for sufficiently large infrastructure.
Julia Poliscanova, Senior Director Vehicles & E-Mobility at T&E, also underlines that “it is great that AFIR is a Regulation now. This must absolutely be kept to ensure fast and effective implementation.”
ACEA recently also joined forces with T&E to bring the importance of revising the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to the attention of the European Commission.
“Because in addition to strong AFIR targets for public infrastructure, Europe will also need an ambitious EPBD to ensure that sufficient private and semi-public charging points are delivered at home and work,” notes ACEA.
ACEA also focuses on the needs of heavy-duty vehicles requiring very different infrastructure to cars and vans. Thomas Fabian, Commercial Vehicles Director at ACEA: “Already by 2025, at least 40 000 battery-electric trucks will have to be in operation in Europe, and by 2030 we will see well above 300 000 zero-emission trucks on our roads – both battery-electric trucks and fuel-cell ones.”
“Member states need to step up their AFIR ambition to ensure that the right infrastructure is available on time, so we really need dedicated and ambitious targets for HDV infrastructure,” he stresses. Part of this has to be “an EU-wide refueling network for low- and zero-carbon fuels to make sure we can also further reduce CO2 emissions from the existing fleet of vehicles.”
“This means that we must continue to drive the message home to national governments, MEPs, and policymakers that they need to understand that the ambition level of either piece of legislation requires to be fully synchronized with the other one,” remarks Eric-Mark Huitema, ACEA’s Director-General.
“The fact that different Committees are treating AFIR and the CO2 Regulation for cars and vans in the European Parliament is, for example, one of those factors indicating that we might risk ending up with a climate package that is out of sync.”
“Hence, it is important that in the months to come we keep reminding the Council, Parliament, and Commission that, instead of focusing on reaching compromises in isolation, they have to verify at every stage of the process that the different pieces of the complex Fit for 55 puzzle remain fully aligned,” Huitema concludes.
Mobia wants a guaranteed supply
The umbrella federation, regrouping Febiac (manufacturers), Traxio (dealers), and Renta (leaders) in Belgium, is sounding the alarm bell on the guaranteed supply of electricity now that the federal government is still arguing about stepping out of nuclear power or not.
“Our research team has calculated that when all cars, vans, and trucks in the country ride on electricity, the annual demand for it will increase by 37 TWh. That’s 50% more than the actual demand,” Mobia is clarifying.
“The three sector federations ask federal and regional authorities to join forces and develop a long-term strategy to provide citizens and companies with sustainable and affordable electric power,” says the press release.
And the current Mobia President, Stefan DeLaet, concludes: “The fiscal changes for company cars as of 2026, the Flemish decision to prohibit sales of non-zero-emission cars as of 2029, and the Brussels intention to ban ICE cars from 2030 will induce a strong electrification in the coming years.”
“The sector expects already 2,5 million electrified cars in 2030 on Belgian roads and 4 million in 2035. Expect an additional half-million electric vehicles like vans, trucks, and buses by the same time. Smart choices and serious investment programs are absolutely necessary if we want to see a real ‘greening’ of our mobility.”