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Guide to AFIR for European charging businesses

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) is an EU-wide law that aims to ensure there is sufficient EV charging infrastructure at key locations throughout the continent.

08 April 2024

At a glance

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) is a new EU law aimed at ensuring the widespread availability of EV charging infrastructure across Europe, along with mandating full price transparency and common payment options at public charge points

Overview of the new requirements

Under the regulation, a number of new requirements for EV charging businesses will come into effect from 13 April 2024:

Ad hoc usage

All public charge points, deployed from 13 April 2024, must offer the ability to pay for sessions anonymously (without registration or entering into a contract) and the ad hoc prices should be provided or displayed at the public charge station.

Transparent pricing

Ad hoc pricing charged by charge point operators (CPOs) must be reasonable and non-discriminatory, and also easy to find and compare. Such prices also need to be transparent, meaning that all price components need to be clearly provided to the end user before they initiate a charge session.

With regard to allowed price components, this is restricted for public charge points (>50kWh, such as DC charge points) to a price per kWh and optionally a price per minute as an occupancy fee. Such restrictions don’t apply to ad hoc pricing for public charge points (<50kWh); however the relevant price components must be presented in the following order: per kWh, minute, session, and any other price component that applies.

Mobility Service Providers (MSPs) are also required to charge transparent, ‘reasonable’ and non-discriminatory prices, and are not allowed to apply any extra charges for cross-border roaming.

Contactless and online payments

The regulation requires public charging stations with a power output of 50kW or more (DC stations) that are deployed from 13 April 2024 to enable electronic payments through a payment card reader (such as a payment terminal or a device with contactless payment functionality). Operators of public charge points with a power output of less than 50kW (usually AC stations) that are deployed from 13 April 2024 can also choose to enable online payments (such as via QR code) instead of or in addition to enabling payment through a payment card reader.

Smart charging

Public charge points need to be capable of smart charging and digitally connected, so that they can communicate with the grid, send and receive information and be operated remotely.

Longer-term mandates

Along with the requirements coming into force in April, there are a number of obligations with a longer timeframe for compliance.

From 1 Jan 2027 the ad hoc charging obligation is applicable to all public charge points of 50 kW or more, regardless of when they were deployed.

Each EU member state also has obligations with regards to the need for sufficient charging infrastructure. From 2025 fast EV charging stations (minimum 150kW) must be installed every 60 km along the trans-European transport (TEN-T) network.

Charging stations for heavy-duty vehicles (minimum 350 kW) need to be deployed every 60 km along the TEN-T core network, and every 100 km on the wider TEN-T comprehensive network.

For details of all AFIR requirements read the regulations in full here.

Monitoring and enforcement

Each EU member state is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the requirements set out in AFIR. In most member states enforcement will be carried out via already existing ‘open norms’, under criminal or administrative law, possibly leading to fines in case of any violations. The range of fines will vary per member state.

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