Deployment of the alternative fuels infrastructure: European Commission prepares the Delegated Act aiming to update the Technical Specifications in Annex II of Directive 2014/94/EU 

The European directive on the deployment of the alternative fuels infrastructure (Directive 2014/94/EU) was published in 2014 as part of the 'Clean Power for Transport' package. Natural gas - compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) -  is one of the alternative fuels that is addressed in this directive. In comparison with other fossil fuels, natural gas is relatively clean (less emission of NOx, SOx, particular matter and CO2) and silent when combusted in the engine. In this way, natural gas vehicles contribute to the improvement of local air quality as well as the Paris Agreement to limit climate change. The latter can be boosted by using biomethane, as a renewable gas.

Annex II of Directive 2014/94/EU refers to technical specifications ensuring the interoperability of the alternative fuels infrastructure. The aim is to allow one to drive across Europe unconcerned and can fuel their vehicle without worrying whether the connector will fit. The European Commission has requested the European standardization organizations to develop standards that address these technical specifications (via standardization request M/533).

European stakeholders shared the view that the international standards ISO 16923 for fuelling of CNG and ISO 16924 for fuelling of LNG met the standardization request and that there was no need to develop new European standards. In March 2018 two international standards for the fuelling of compressed natural gas (CNG) and for the fuelling of liquefied natural gas (LNG) were respectively adopted as European Standards: EN ISO 16923 and EN ISO 16924. Its European foreword includes an explanation with a reference to the standardization request and European standards in the field of fuel quality and labelling.

Labelling including symbols for compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas

This European adoption implies that these standards are implemented by the national standardization bodies of 34 countries; an important contribution is therefore made in the European ambition towards cleaner mobility.

The European Commission has now the possibility to update the technical specifications in Annex II of Directive 2014/94/EU through a delegated act mechanism. This process will be initiated in September 2018. This will have as a consequence that the specifications listed initially in the Annex of the Directive will be replaced by the references to standards listed in the Delegated Act.

CEN/TC 326 'Natural gas vehicles – Fuelling and operation' is responsible for European standards in the field of natural gas fuelling stations.

NEN – the Standardization Institute of the Netherlands holds Secretariat of the Technical Committee.
For more information about participation possibilities and the standardzsation activities contact the TC Secretary Jarno Dakhorst by e-mail: energy@nen.nl or phone: +31 15 2 690 245.

CEN contact: Thierry Legrand