Europe is taking significant strides in the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure, aiming to create a robust network that supports cleaner transportation options.
The recent adoption of sweeping regulations by the European Parliament highlights the region’s commitment to a sustainable future. With requirements for charging stations and hydrogen refueling points along major road networks, Europe is setting ambitious goals for the deployment of these essential facilities.
In Europe’s vision for the future, the establishment of EV charging stations will be a key priority. The regulations stipulate that charging stations should be spaced at least every 60 kilometers (37 miles) along major roads and accessible in both directions of travel by 2027. Each site must have a minimum power pool of 600 kW and a minimum of two charge points with at least 150 kW each. By the end of 2025, an interim requirement mandates a minimum output of 400 kW per pool and 150 kW per charge point.
The new regulations also prioritize user convenience and ease of payment. Charging services should be available without the need for a subscription, and payment at recharging points should be quick and straightforward, allowing for payment cards or contactless devices. The pricing structure must be clearly displayed, providing transparency per kilowatt-hour (kWh), minute, or session, ensuring users have a clear understanding of the costs involved.
Recognizing the importance of electrifying trucks and buses, the European Parliament’s regulations extend to these vehicles as well. Charging stations for trucks and buses will be required every 120 kilometers (75 miles) along the core road network. These stations will have outputs ranging from 1.4 to 2.8 megawatts, depending on the specific road conditions. Moreover, hydrogen refueling stations will be deployed along the same network, with a minimum coverage of one station every 200 kilometers (124 miles) by 2031, catering to the anticipated fleet of hydrogen-fueled semis.
The ambitious infrastructure requirements are part of the Fit for 55 package, aligned with the European Green Deal and the European Climate Law. Europe aims to end sales of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The development of an extensive charging network and hydrogen refueling infrastructure will play a vital role in achieving these targets and accelerating the continent’s transition to a greener, more sustainable transportation system.