EU Invests €1bn in Alternative Fuel Infrastructure

The European Commission has announced a significant advancement in promoting sustainable transport by initiating a new call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility – Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF). An allocation of €1 billion is earmarked to facilitate the development of infrastructure necessary to supply alternative fuels across the trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

The funding aims to substantially bolster the infrastructure for high-power electricity recharging and hydrogen refuelling stations along the road network, including specific provisions for Heavy Duty Vehicles. Furthermore, the initiative supports airports and ports by financing electricity and hydrogen supply infrastructure. Notably, this phase introduces funding for ammonia and methanol bunkering facilities at ports, marking a significant expansion in the scope of alternative fuel sources supported by the European Union.

Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, emphasised the strategic importance of this funding tool for the European transport sector, highlighting its potential to bridge the investment gap in deploying sustainable and accessible electric vehicle infrastructure. The call targets a comprehensive roll-out of alternative fuel infrastructure, covering urban city transport, ports, and airports across the Union, with special encouragement for uptake by Member States in Eastern and Southern Europe.

This initiative is part of the second phase of AFIF for the years 2024-2025, designed to align with the new Regulation for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (AFIR), as well as the objectives of ReFuelEU aviation and FuelEU maritime. The emphasis is increasing the availability of electric recharging points and hydrogen refuelling stations across the EU’s main transport corridors and hubs.

The process for grant application is structured around three cut-off dates, with detailed evaluations by the European Commission and the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) to follow. Successful applicants are expected to enter into grant agreements within a specified timeframe post-submission.

This development builds upon the foundation laid by the CEF Transport programme, the EU’s principal funding instrument for creating high-performing, sustainable, and interconnected Trans-European transport networks. With a history of supporting over 1,450 projects through EUR 36.3 billion since 2014 and the first phase of AFIF contributing over EUR 1.3 billion to 131 projects, this new call for proposals represents a pivotal step towards achieving the EU’s ambitious goals for sustainable transport and green mobility.