As electric vehicles (EVs) gain traction in the transportation sector, the EU has recently set forth a new regulation—the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR)—to ensure the development of a robust charging infrastructure. In this article, we delve into eight burning questions related to AFIR and provide insights from EV policy experts to shed light on the matter. From the proposed requirements for fast-charging stations along EU motorways to the impact on small players and the potential increase in electricity demand, we explore the key aspects of AFIR that are shaping the future of e-mobility in Europe. Let’s dive in.
- What are the proposed requirements for fast-charging stations along the EU’s main motorways for passenger cars and vans by 2025 and 2030?
The charging points must be deployed in each direction of travel with a maximum distance of 60 km between them. By 2025, an impressive power output of at least 400 kW must be deployed, accompanied by an individual power output of at least 150 kW at one charging point. By 2027, a power output of at least 600 kW, featuring two charging points with an individual power output of at least 150 kW, must be installed.
In the longer term, targets for 2030 and 2035 for larger and longer sections of roads across the EU will mandate a power output of 300 kW and 600 kW, respectively. By 2030, one charger will need to be capable of at least 150 kW, and by 2035 there will need to be two charging points, each with an individual capacity of 150 kW. All in all, we firmly believe there will be sufficient EV infrastructure for all types of road travel for at least the next decade.
- Have any measures been taken to simplify the payment experience and promote interoperability of charging infrastructure?
AFIR aims to bring in a new era of convenience and interoperability. The measures taken under AFIR will revolutionise the payment experience for EV drivers. Get ready to pay with your bank cards wherever you go, without needing a contract with an existing Emobility Service Provider.
- How will all requirements on Charge Point Operators and Emobility Service Provider help advance the e-mobility field?
The requirements will allow for a seamless driving experience, making it easy to go long distances and understand the actual cost of charging before starting a session.
- Does the regulation include any provisions to address the potential increase in electricity demand and grid capacity requirements resulting from the widespread adoption of electric vehicles?
It does not. While AFIR might not directly address the potential increase in electricity demand and grid capacity requirements resulting from the widespread adoption of EVs, a separate piece of legislation known as the Electricity Market Design, currently under negotiation by policymakers, is poised to tackle these challenges head on. The aim is to have an agreement in the final text by the end of the year.
- Will AFIR slow down the expansion of EV charging in Europe as it could impose strict legislation on small players?
While AFIR may introduce stricter regulations, its aim is to emphasise quality over quantity to drive the expansion of EV charging in Europe in a more efficient and connected manner. Hopefully, rather than hindering small players, AFIR will inspire innovation and encourage their participation in building an optimised and centralised charging system.
- Will AFIR set payment per kWh as standard, making tariffing per minute impossible?
AFIR hasn’t made payment per kWh the absolute standard, but it has established it as a minimum requirement in the pursuit of transparency and consumer empowerment. By prioritising the visibility of kWh-based pricing, AFIR ensures that consumers have a clear understanding of the cost before they charge. However, tariffing per minute will still be possible as long as the price per kWh is also displayed.
- The motorway targets of 350 kW seem very low for lorries. Why is that?
The 350 kW is a minimum threshold set as a compromise designed to accommodate the diverse charging landscape across Europe. It ensures that all countries, regardless of their experience in EV charging, can meet the targets set by AFIR. By establishing this minimum requirement, even countries that have faced challenges in the past are now propelled towards electrification. It’s also important to note that the hardware market for heavy-duty vehicles is already evolving rapidly, with many solutions already surpassing the 350 kW mark.
- Does AFIR set any requirements for real estate projects or businesses that are new developments?
AFIR mandates targets for public charging. Most real estate charging is classified as private charging, which is under a different directive being discussed at the moment by the EU. AFIR does apply in some commercial real estate cases, such as places where the charging is public. Ultimately, it comes down to how public and private charging are defined in the respective countries.
Do you want to gain more insights into AFIR and its impact on the electrified future of Europe? If you’re eager to delve deeper, watch our expert panel on “Navigating AFIR” below. In this on-demand session, EV policy experts unpack the new AFIR, addressing the questions we’ve explored here and much more.