In a landmark move towards meeting the stringent greenhouse gas reduction targets within the transportation sector, the industrial coalition spearheaded by Hy24 has unveiled a pioneering policy toolkit. This comprehensive guide offers guidance to policymakers for planning and coordinating the implementation of the AFIR* Hydrogen stations network. In the short-term it will help rolling-out intermediary HRS** as part of each Member States “national policy framework.”
In July 2023, this coalition, comprising industry leaders such as Hy24, Daimler Truck AG, Stellantis, to name a few, urged European Transport Ministers and the European Commission to establish a pan-European public/private group. Their aim was to kickstart AFIR implementation immediately to comply with the CO2 standards.
Since then, this coalition has been actively analysing potential support mechanisms. Their focus is on overcoming short-term challenges and facilitating the deployment of the HRS network by the 2027 target. This effort not only drives AFIR achievement but also aligns with the revision of heavy-duty vehicle CO2 standards.
Key takeaways from Hy24’s policy toolkit
Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), particularly those powered by hydrogen, are identified as pivotal in achieving a substantial 45% reduction in CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by 2030.
Deploying such a significant proportion of ZEVs in such a short period requires an unprecedented speed of deployment. Mass adoption of hydrogen vehicles must start by 2026 to allow for few years of sales ramp up.
The acceptance and rapid adoption of hydrogen vehicles hinge significantly on the presence of a robust network of HRS offering hydrogen at competitive prices. The deployment of the mandated 650 stations outlined in the AFIR must start by 2025. Support mechanisms must be in place by 2024 to meet deployment targets set by Member States.
A substantial challenge emerges as HRS deployment precedes the widespread commercialization of hydrogen vehicles, leading to potential short-term financial losses. To mitigate this, a hybrid solution combining systemic territorial coverage and a ‘Capacity Payment’ mechanism has been proposed. This system provides a fixed rent over 8-10 years based on HRS capacity, thereby facilitating rapid deployment while cushioning short-term financial risks.
The release of this comprehensive policy toolkit marks a significant stride towards achieving the ambitious goals outlined in the AFIR. You can read the policy toolkit here.
*AFIR: Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation
**HRS: Hydrogen Refuelling Stations