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The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) supports the European Commission's proposals to expand infrastructure for alternative fuels that were announced last week as part of its 'clean fuel strategy'. In particular, ACEA welcomes the Commission's clear acknowledgement that there is no one single solution to the challenges of sustainable transport, but that there must be a whole basket of options available.

With the right framework conditions, alternative fuels have the potential to play a key role in improving air quality and reducing CO2 emissions. The auto industry has put forward a number of solutions through its investments in cleaner technologies. It will only be possible for these solutions to bear their fruit if there is full cooperation between utility providers, infrastructure companies, the energy sector, standardisation bodies and the automotive industry - with the full support of national governments and the European institutions. This proposal takes a step in the right direction in fostering such synergies.

Standardising the connection between the electricity grid and electrically-chargeable vehicles is one of the prerequisites to help e-mobility gain a viable market share. The industry is therefore welcomes the Commission's proposal to unify the plug system for recharging electric vehicles in Europe. "The existence of a single common plug across the different member states will help kick start a stronger market uptake of electric vehicles, and gives clear direction for the future," stated ACEA Secretary General, Ivan Hodac. "This represents a real break-thorough in current discussions on the harmonisation of charging."

Gas powered vehicles (both LNG and CNG) also have a strong role to play in bringing down CO2 emissions. The industry is pleased to note that, as well as proposing a broader network of filling stations, the Commission has underlined the necessity of ensuring the appropriate quality of gas for use in future vehicles.

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