Skip to main content

NPF highlights

Download the full NPF documents:

English translation: france npf.en.pdf

Original language: france npf.pdf


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), in principle as an extract from the NPF, with some additions to give context where necessary. These highlights should not be considered summaries of the NPFs. For a full and  complete overview, we  advise to read the NPF document itself

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 LPG, biofuels or synthetic fuels. 


NPF date of adoption: France 2018

France has as objective to diversify the energy mix in the transport sector, whatever the mode of transport, in particular by promoting electromobility, Natural Gas Vehicles (CNG/LNG) and bio-CNG/LNG, biofuels, LPG and bio-LPG. Several uncertainties associated with the prospects for development of alternative fuels have been identified. Uncertainties associated with changing energy prices impacting directly the attractiveness of certain AFs. Uncertainties associated with changing vehicle fleets and competition between fuels for vehicle segments. Different alternative fuels can meet the needs of the same vehicle segment. In addition to mapping how the various vehicle segments and fuels match up, account must be taken of the uncertainty in these various segments, as the objective is to avoid developing infrastructure that has no economic value. This is the case with buses, which can be powered by CNG, LNG, hydrogen or electricity. Similarly, with regard to hydrogen, the increasing range of batteries for electric vehicles may eventually put pressure on the market segments of certain vehicles. Uncertainties associated with behaviour particularly in terms of electricity which is characterised by a very different refuelling model from the traditional model. 

Electricity: As part of the clean mobility development strategy, France has set itself the ambition of 2 400 000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2023 (passenger cars and light-duty commercial vehicles). Battery cost reduction and increase of range are expected to help electromobility become more widespread. Shore-side electricity (SSE or OPS): at the moment only one French maritime port (Marseille-Fos) offers an electricity connection delivering high power (in excess of 1 MVA), intended for merchant vessels when in port. A socioeconomic assessment has identified the minimum conditions (quay occupancy rate, density of the surrounding urban environment, etc.) required for a shore-side electricity supply service to be cost-effective in socioeconomic terms, and has ranked the quays that it would be most appropriate to equip and connect to the electricity system by 2025. Development of shore-side electricity supply services should concentrate on the ro-ro terminals that accept RoPax vessels (vehicles and passengers) and on the cruise ship terminals situated close to a dense urban area. The ports of Paris, Strasbourg, Le Havre, Rouen, Lille and Lyon for inland waterway transport are likely to be offering a shore-side electricity supply by 2025. It should be noted that a shore-side electricity supply offer is specific to a type of vessel and quay.The vast majority of airports have 400 Hertz connections for those stands forming part of the terminals, for the seven main airports, 504 out of 625 stands at terminals are equipped.

Hydrogen:France favours a ‘cluster’ or ‘captive fleet’ approach for the development of hydrogen within the national territory. This ‘start-up’ strategy straight-away meets the need in terms of range and refuelling speed that is not currently met by electric vehicles, while reducing the risks associated with developing new infrastructure: deploying vehicles and stations where there is demand to ensure that the station is sufficiently used from its opening.

CNG: The development of natural gas for transport in France was initially focused on the public transport market and numerous local authorities currently have a bus fleet fuelled by CNG. It has since been extended to street cleaning vehicles and captive fleets of light-duty vehicles. CNG was the subject of an agreement in 2005 between the public authorities and several operators in the sector, with the aim being to ensure its wider use in the light-duty vehicle segment and among private individuals. However, its use in light-duty vehicles remains well below the targets set by the agreement. At the end of 2015, there were just over 12 000 CNG vehicles in France, mainly consisting of captive fleet vehicles with access to dedicated refuelling stations. 

LNG:The use of LNG for heavy duty trucks is increasing rapidly. In France, several projects involving stations accessible to heavy-duty vehicles are being implemented or have been announced, initiated by local public stakeholders and/or private operators. In France, annual demand for marine LNG could be between 150 kt and 500 kt by 2025, the initial main users of marine LNG are expected to be cruise ships. If the optimistic demand scenario is achieved, the marine LNG refuelling offer may be extended to other ports in the TEN-T core network, and even to certain ports in the TEN-T comprehensive network. For inland ports, uncertainties about future demand are still too great to define a target within the timescale of the Directive.