Alternative fuel infrastructures for heavy-duty vehicles

This study, requested by the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament, examines the opportunities and challenges for the use and deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in the EU for heavy-duty vehicles, in particular trucks. The current state of play and future needs are presented in the context of the ambitious targets of the Green Deal, the proposal for an Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation published mid-July 2021 and the upcoming review of the TEN-T Regulation.

See also the blog post dedicated to the study of Research4Committees.

Key Findings:
  • Given the Green Deal decarbonisation targets, there is a need to decarbonise truck transport, but at present there is only a minimal publicly accessible refuelling and recharging infrastructure for battery electric trucks (BETs) and hydrogen-fuelled trucks.
  • The proposal for an Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) aims to ensure a minimum level of infrastructure and includes binding distance-based targets for the realisation of recharging and hydrogen refuelling points for trucks.
  • Estimated future infrastructure requirements indicate a need for overnight depot charging points as the main recharging concept for BETs. To a lesser extent, public overnight chargers and ultra-fast opportunity charging are also required. For medium and long-haul transport, however, publicly accessible fast-charging and lower power overnight charging infrastructure is essential.
  • Given the high power demand of truck charging at depots and roadside public charging stations, the power grid and its capacity need to be suitably extended and adjusted to become future-proof.