The Council of the European Union has adopted a new set of rules intended to make life easier for electric vehicle drivers traveling across its main road network, as part of the so-called “Fit for 55” package of initiatives meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent before 2030 (compared to 1990 levels).

The new law mandates that from 2025 onwards, fast charging stations of at least 150 kilowatts for cars and vans need to be installed every 37 miles (60 kilometers) along the Union’s main transport corridors known as the “trans-European transport (TEN-T) network.”

Furthermore, the regulation says that charging stations placed along the TEN-T core network – the most important roads linking major cities and nodes – will have to be capable of delivering a total output of at least 400 kW by the end of 2025, including at least one charging point that’s capable of delivering at least 150 kW individually.

By the end of 2027, the total power requirement will be extended to 600 kW for a station, while the individual stall of at least 150 kW will remain unchanged, according to the new law.

In other words, low charging speeds should become a thing of the past if providers will follow the new regulation, as opposed to what the current situation is, where a particular station may be advertised to provide 300 kW, but that’s shared between five or six individual stalls, cutting the power output to the vehicles to as little as 50 kW if all chargers are used simultaneously.

EU's TEN-T “core” road network. Source: European Comission

The timeframe for the deployment of EV fast chargers along the TEN-T comprehensive network – roads that connect EU regions back to the core network – is a bit less optimistic. As per the new law, the maximum distance between charging stations is still 37 miles, but the maximum combined output should be at least 300 kW, with at least one port capable of at least 150 kW by the end of 2027, but only for at least half of the comprehensive roads, with the remaining part of the network scheduled for the rollout by the end of 2030.

By the end of 2035, stations on the TEN-T comprehensive road network should be capable of a combined output of at least 600 kW with at least two stalls capable of delivering at least 150 kW.

What’s equally important is the requirement for all new EV fast chargers to enable fast and easy payments via cards or contactless devices without the need for subscriptions or apps.

Infographic showing what will change after the regulation will go into effect. Source: European Council

The main points of the regulation are as follows:

  • from 2025 onwards, fast recharging stations of at least 150kW for cars and vans need to be installed every 60 km along the EU’s main transport corridors, the so-called ‘trans-European transport (TEN-T) network’
  • recharging stations for heavy-duty vehicles with a minimum output of 350kW need to be deployed every 60 km along the TEN-T core network, and every 100 km on the larger TEN-T comprehensive network from 2025 onwards, with complete network coverage by 2030
  • hydrogen refueling stations serving both cars and lorries must be deployed from 2030 onwards in all urban nodes and every 200 km along the TEN-T core network
  • maritime ports welcoming a minimum number of large passenger vessels, or container vessels, must provide shore-side electricity for such vessels by 2030
  • airports must provide electricity to stationary aircraft at all gates by 2025, and at all remote stands by 2030
  • users of electric or hydrogen-fuelled vehicles must be able to pay easily at recharging or refueling points with payment cards or contactless devices and without a need for a subscription and in full price transparency
  • operators of recharging or refueling points must provide consumers full information through electronic means on the availability, waiting time or price at different stations

“The new law is a milestone of our ‘Fit for 55’ policy providing for more public recharging capacity on the streets in cities and along the motorways across Europe,” said Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, Spanish Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda. “We are optimistic that in the near future, citizens will be able to charge their electric cars as easily as they do today in traditional petrol stations.”

After the formal adoption by the EU Council, the new regulation will be published in the European Union’s official journal after the summer and will enter into force on the 20th day of publication. Then, the new rules will apply six months after the date of entry into force of the regulation, as per the Council.

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