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NPF highlights

Download the full NPF documents:

English translation: austria npf.en.pdf

English translation: austria npf annex.en.pdf

Original language: austria npf.pdf

Original language: austria npf annex.pdf

NPF highlights and 2019 NPF reporting on implementation highlights

On this page, we provide relevant information on the topic of alternative fuels vehicles, infrastructure or support measures as provided in the National Policy Framework (NPF) as well as the 2019 Reporting by the Member States on the NPF implementation.

According to Art. 10(1) of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, each Member State shall submit to the European Commission a report on the implementation of its National Policy Framework on a tri-annual basis, and for the first time by or before 18 November 2019. Those Reports must contain a description of the measures taken in the reporting Member State in support of alternative fuels infrastructure build-up. An overview of the Reports notified by [Member State] and received by the Commission to date is provided here below (download section), including an English translation where applicable.

The highlights for all National Policy Framework follow more or less the same structure: we first explain the modelling approach where one has been provided, we then explain the objectives or key focus areas of the NPF and then provide an overview of the key messages for those alternative fuels with distinct infrastructure requirements for which Member States had to develop national targets according to the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (electricity, hydrogen, LPG, CNG and LNG - therefore not covering for instance biofuels or synthetic fuels. The highlights are extracts from the NPF documents. These highlights should not be considered summaries of the NPFs. For a full and  complete overview, we  advise to read the NPF documents


Highlights 2019 Reporting on the NPF implementation 

The regulatory framework has undergone further developments at both Austrian and European level since the publication of the National Policy Framework ‘Clean Power for Transport’ in 2016. For example, Austria’s Climate and Energy Strategy #mission20301 was published in June 2018. In this strategy, Austria underlines its commitment to international climate targets and a proactive climate protection and energy policy. The main target in the transport sector is to achieve a 36% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2005, bringing the figure down to 15.7 million tCO2.

The Federal Government, the provinces and the municipalities have been supporting research and development relating to alternative fuels in the transport sector and development of the relevant market for many years. They also provide funding for various training and awareness-raising measures. Although the number of alternatively powered vehicles continues to be low, Austria has an extensive network of (basic) recharging or refuelling infrastructure for both electric mobility and natural gas mobility (CNG). The high proportion of renewable energy in its electricity mix means that Austria is particularly well placed to complete the transition to an electrically powered transport sector.

Electricity: At the end of 2018, 0.53% of the entire vehicle fleet of almost 5 million passenger cars (Class M1) was electrically powered, with 20,831 purely battery electric vehicles (BEV) and 5,710 plug-in hybrids (PHEV). The number of purely electric vehicles in the remaining vehicle classes (L, M2, M3 and N) amounted to 10,920 vehicles at the end of 2018.

A basic level of recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles is available throughout Austria. By the end of Q2 2019, 503 high-power recharging points and 3,675 normal- power recharging points were in operation pursuant to Annex 2 to Directive 2014/94/EU.

With a view to making it easier to use recharging stations operated by different companies, all Austrian operators are currently working hard on user-friendly and streamlined authentication and payment systems, both within Austria and as part of the relevant EU-wide projects.

Austria’s ports provide a basic level of shore-side electric supply for inland waterway vessels.

Natural gas (CNG): Although refuelling infrastructure is available throughout the country and certain tax concessions are available, only 5,542 passenger cars in Class M1 were registered in Austria on 31 December 2018. This was almost exactly the same number of vehicles as the previous year. Many different series-production CNG vehicles are available (including passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy goods vehicles and buses), and refuelling points are present throughout Austria.

On 30 September 2019, the number of public CNG refuelling points in Austria stood at 156, three of which were purely biomethane refuelling points. Although a comprehensive network of infrastructure exists, as well as a technical and regulatory legal framework and a wide range of vehicle models, the development of the CNG market in Austria remains at a very low level.

Natural gas (LNG): Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is an alternative fuel for ships and heavy goods vehicles. LNG does not currently play a significant role either in inland waterway navigation or in heavy goods transport in Austria; the deployment of LNG infrastructure has not therefore been a priority to date. On cost grounds, Austria currently assumes that LNG is unlikely to replace natural gas in locations where natural gas pipes have already been installed. Nevertheless, potential exists for increased use of LNG in future, and Austrian institutions are currently working hard on feasibility studies and pilot projects such as the ‘LNG Master Plan Rhine-Main-Danube’ project. Since September 2017, RAG has operated the first Austrian LNG refuelling point in Ennshafen. A second LNG refuelling point was opened in 2019 near Graz/Airport.

Hydrogen: The number of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in Austria has been very low to date. This can be explained primarily by the extremely limited selection of vehicles currently available. The deployment of publicly accessible infrastructure should be paired with vehicle- related developments. On 31 December 2018, 24 fuel cell vehicles were registered in Austria. This figure had increased by around 50% by mid-2019. FCEVs are eligible for the same tax concessions as BEVs (e.g. car registration tax, company car taxation etc.). Given the current number of vehicles, Austria meets the requirements of Directive 2014/94/EU; there are five fully operational refuelling points in Linz-Asten, Graz, Innsbruck, Vienna and Wiener Neudorf, and two private refuelling points in Graz (TU Graz) and Thalheim bei Wels (Fronius).


Highlights NPF (date of adoption: November 2016)

In its National Policy Framework, Austria models three scenario’s for transport decarbonisation including alternative fuels deployment. The WEM scenario produced by the Austrian Federal Environmental Agency forecasts the development of alternative fuels in the transport sector, taking into account the measures that have already been adopted (business-as-usual). The Agency’s WAM scenario includes measures that have not yet been adopted. The third scenario - WAM Plus – depicts a change in trends in the transport sector, with assumptions and far-reaching measures that go beyond the WAM scenario, such as the modal split in passenger and freight transport or environmentally-friendly modes of transport that have greatly reduced annual MIV mileage.

Electricity: The electrification of road transport shall play a major role in the following years. In the electromobility scenarios, the Federal Environment Agency assumes a broader introduction of electric vehicles from 2017 onwards, because new vehicle models have been announced in several vehicle classes, ensuring a broader vehicle offer. In addition, the higher ranges and lower costs anticipated for battery systems will make these vehicles increasingly attractive, both for commercial and private use. In the WEM scenario, the number of electric vehicles (battery-powered vehicles and plug-in hybrids) will rise to around 64 000 electric vehicles by 2020, with far-reaching additional measures such as further economic incentives and the substantial expansion of infrastructure. By 2030, in the WEM scenario this will increase to 930 000 electric vehicles, while in the WAM scenario this will increase to just under 1.7 million electric vehicles, almost 75% of which are purely battery-powered.

With regard to shore-side electricity of inland waterway vessels, Austria has a basic supply. However, its environmental advantages and its acceptance by ship-owners is low, while the investment costs are high. Electricity for idle aircraft is available at all Austrian airports.

Hydrogen: Austria is planning the construction of a hydrogen supply network for road traffic. Due to the high construction costs associated with hydrogen filling stations, the infrastructure is closely tied to the development of the vehicle market. 

CNGThe market development of CNG in Austria is sluggish despite the expanded infrastructure and the existing technical and regulatory framework. If the potential of using natural gas as fuel is not exploited to a large extent, the existing infrastructure will be dismantled in the medium and long term. 

LNGCurrently, LNG does not play an important role in inland shipping or heavy traffic in Austria. Therefore, the establishment of the LNG infrastructure was not treated as a priority issue. Altogether, the construction of three or four combined LNG-CNG filling stations is planned in the medium term. In any case, the question whether the substitution of fossil fuels is meaningful and ecological in the medium and long term must be thoroughly examined.

In shipping, the construction of LNG filling stations for refuelling ships on lakes within Austria is excluded due to low demand. Only the construction of a single stationary LNG terminal along the Danube, could prove economical. The Danube shipping sector is expected to follow the path of development of its North-West European counterparts. Currently, Austria plans the construction of at least one dual-use LNG filling station by 2030.