Brussels, 28th March 2023
Agreement reached on AFIR
Late last night (27th March), EU institutions reached a deal on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), the key piece of legislation for Europe’s nascent hydrogen-powered road transport sector.
Article 6 of the regulation will mandate the construction of one gaseous hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) every 200 km on the TEN-T core network by the end of 2030, as well as one HRS in every urban node. The stations will have a daily supply capacity of one ton of hydrogen for all modes of road transport. Member States must prepare an HRS deployment plan by 2027 that will satisfy the needs of hydrogen powered road mobility.
“We are happy to see a timely conclusion on this piece of legislation, 21 months after the proposal was tabled, despite it falling short of what we believe are the minimal industry needs,” said Darko Levicar, Director of Mobility at Hydrogen Europe.
“European member states must establish a dense network of hydrogen refuelling and battery recharging infrastructure, and we believe that by the foreseen AFIR revision in 2026 there will be enough hydrogen cars, vans, buses and trucks on the roads to justify an increase in targets,” he added.
Despite not meeting industry demands, the agreement is a satisfactory starting point that also lays the foundations for the use of hydrogen in maritime, aviation and rail transport. Hydrogen Europe expects the regulation to be improved upon revision in 2026 and include the coverage of the comprehensive network, as this is the only way to ensure an undisrupted, EU-wide hydrogen road transport network.
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