European Commission revamps database for alternative fuels infrastructure

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The fully revamped European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO3.0) was launched last week by the European Commission. The upgraded Observatory provides an insight into the number of alternative fuel trucks in different countries; what kind of incentives and benefits the states provide for owners, and a breakdown of the infrastructure rollout.

European Commission revamps database for alternative fuels infrastructure
Photo: European Commission

Over the course of 2022, the observatory will gradually be expanded to cover rail and aviation, in addition to the road and waterborne sectors already covered. A consumer information section will also be added.

EAFO is the Commission’s knowledge centre, containing a wealth of data on alternative fuels in Europe. It gathers information on infrastructure roll-out for alternative fuels, the uptake of alternative fuels, and support measures in the Member States and other European countries within EAFO’s scope.

A TENtec public map viewer replaces the current map and will be tailored to alternative fuels later this year. The map viewer includes a ‘gap analysis’ algorithm to identify gaps in alternative fuels infrastructure coverage on the TEN-T network – the algorithm will also be upgraded this year.

The interactive map will include new thematic data layers, making it possible to perform more sophisticated alternative fuels policy analysis, e.g. by cross-checking the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure against seasonal traffic flows, air quality, population density, energy grids and heavy industry clusters.

Number of alternative fuel trucks in the UK vs in Germany

Looking at the statistics, the sudden growth of battery electric (BEV) and CNG powered HGVs after 2018 is very obvious: the total number of BRV trucks grew from 63 to 438 in just 4 years.

Total number of AF trucks in the UK. Source: European Alternative Fuels Observatory

The landscape in Germany, the most important T&L country in Europe, is a bit more diverse with the addition of LPG HGVs into the mix.

CPG trucks appeared earlier on the German roads than in the UK, there were 3676 such trucks on the roads already in 2009, and these were the first and only vehicles powered alternatively. After a sudden decline in their numbers in 2016, the transition towards climate-friendly drives started again in 2019 – with the newly available BEV and CNG lorries.

The number of AF trucks was 553 in 2018 and it increased to 4495 by 2021.

Total number of AF trucks in Germany. Source: European Alternative Fuels Observatory

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