The Croatian Parliament adopted the Law on the establishment of alternative fuels infrastructure. By the adoption of the law, the provisions of the European Union (EU) Directive which sets a framework of measures for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure are transposed into the Croatian legislation.
The main objective of the adoption of the law is to reduce the use of oil and dependence on it to a minimum, which will mitigate the negative impact of transport on the environment. According to the Directive, the recharging and refuelling infrastructure should be established for alternative fuels including electricity and biofuels, as well as natural gas, petroleum gas and hydrogen.
The law on alternative fuels sets the minimum of requirements for the construction of alternative fuels infrastructure, first of all charging stations. The law also sets the common technical specifications of the infrastructure and envisages the obligation of informing consumers about the implementation of measures to establish the alternative fuels infrastructure.
As the Croatian media earlier reported, the representative of the working group for the harmonization of Croatian legislation with the EU Directive Romana Palčić said that the alternative fuels market is underdeveloped in the EU as well. According to her words, electric vehicles make up only 0.2% of new car sales. With the introduction of the new law, it is expected that Croatia will increase the number of charging stations for alternative fuels by 2020 with at least one station at every 50 kilometres.
As the use of internal combustion engine vehicles contributes to environmental pollution, the European Union issued a directive in 2014 according to which all the member states should adopt the standards of design and the use of alternative fuels, including a unique charger for electric vehicles, by the end of 2016. The development of alternative fuels has been slowed down due to vehicles’ high prices, consumers’ poor interest and the lack of charging stations.
The Directive requires the member states to provide a sufficient number of publicly accessible charging points for compressed natural gas (CNG) which should be built at every 150 kilometres in both urban and suburban areas, as well as along the Trans-European Transport Network by the end of 2025. The countries which decide to build the infrastructure for hydrogen are required to ensure a sufficient number of publicly accessible charging points according to the common standards by 2025.
The law on the alternative fuels infrastructure establishment published in the Croatian Narodne Novine will come into force on December 29, 2016.