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NPF highlights

Download the full NPF documents:

English translation: france npf.en.pdf

Original language: france npf.pdf

Download the National Implementation Report 2019:

France NIR

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 publication of the national policy framework in 2017 formed part of an overall strategy for the energy transition in transport, as provided for under the Act on the Energy Transition for Green Growth (loi relative à la transition énergétique pour la croissance verte – LTECV) of August 2015 and included in the proposal for an integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (plan national intégré énergie-climat). Several documents support the development of alternative fuels:

1          The National Low-Carbon Strategy (Stratégie Nationale Bas-Carbone – SNBC) sets the strategic guidelines for implementing the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy in all business segments. It establishes greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for each economic sector by means of ‘carbon budgets’ that set greenhouse gas emission ceilings for successive periods of 4 to 5 years.

2          The Multiannual Energy Plan (Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie – PPE), the strategic document for French energy policy, establishes two main priorities: reducing energy consumption, particularly of fossil fuels; and developing renewable energy. In the transport sector, the PPE draft revision (PPE2) will set targets for reducing energy consumption and developing electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and for the development of bio-NGV and hydrogen.

3          The Clean Mobility Development Strategy (Stratégie de développement de la mobilité propre – SDMP), appended to the Multiannual Energy Programme, lays down the guidelines for the decarbonisation of transport. The SDMP2 proposal appended to the PPE draft revision (PPE2) will set new objectives for 2023 and 2028 (the first SDMP set objectives for 2016-2018). This strategy focuses in particular on the broader aims of the national low-carbon strategy. The SDMP chiefly clarifies scenarios of trends relating to vehicle fleets, the outlook in terms of increasing the number of recharging points to boost alternative fuels, changes in terms of transport’s consumption of the various energy sources and the proposed guidelines for each of the levers (decarbonisation of the fuel consumed by vehicles, vehicle energy efficiency, control of transport demand, modal shift, optimisation of vehicle use). The estimates presented in the reporting table on the fleet of vehicles using alternative fuels and those relating to the number of recharging and refuelling points are therefore based on the objectives of the SDMP2 proposal which is still awaiting adoption; as yet these fleet deployment estimates are therefore not French commitments. The SDMP was drawn up with reference to the scenario also used by the SNBC and PPE.

ElectricityThe port of Marseille currently has 3 supply points for 5 La Méridionale and Corsica Linea ferries operating between Corsica and the French mainland. The South (Sud) region recently announced its new ‘zero-fume stopovers’ (Escales zéro fumées) electrification scheme, which should result in all ferry quays being connected by 2023. The scheme should also allow the installation of a feed for cruise ships in Marseille by 2025. The French government has announced its intention to support the Region’s scheme (see 3. Deployment and manufacturing report in the reporting table). Dunkirk’s Grand Port Maritime also plans to equip its container terminal with an 8-MW supply point by the end of the year; initially, it should be able to cater for 7 vessels. There are also plans to install 2 additional supply points depending on how needs evolve. In the inland waterway sector, quayside electrification is making progress, as some waterways not included in the CANCA objectives also offer it or are currently installing it. One such case is the Rhône, on which the sites at Vienne and Arles now have 2 high-power supply points, with 7 medium-power supply points on the networks of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône and the publicly-owned Waterways of France (VNF). The Seine basin is also the recipient of VNF investment, in partnership with HAROPA (an alliance of the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris) and with the support of the French government, ADEME and CEF-T, to allow the installation of 9 water and electricity supply points, each of which can accommodate 2 vessels. In total, the French inland waterway network had at least 110 power supply points for inland waterway vessels in 2019 (including 17 around the Seine basin and 91 in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region).

Hydrogen:  Today, France has 29 hydrogen stations, the deployment of which has been supported chiefly by the ‘Territories hydrogène' labelling scheme. In 2018, the government adopted the Energy Transition Hydrogen Deployment Plan (Plan de déploiement de l’hydrogène pour la transition énergétique), setting targets for the deployment of vehicles and stations that will be appended to the SDMP when it is adopted. The plan does not specify differentiated targets between stations open to the public and those for captive fleets. 100 stations will have to be deployed by 2023, which is a significant increase compared to the CANCA target for 2025 of 30 to 50 stations.

Natural gas: At the time of notifying the National Policy Framework, France set a national target of 80 CNG refuelling points to allow the circulation of CNG-powered vehicles by the end of 2020. By the end of 2019, this target had been reached with 110 CNG stations and 34 LNG stations. For 2023 and 2028, the SDMP proposal specifies the number of stations needed to supply the projected vehicle numbers. Thus, by 2023 France will require at least 121 CNG stations and 17 LNG stations; 285 CNG and 41 LNG stations will need to be installed by 2028. The analyses show that France should exceed these objectives.

LNG refuelling in ports: All ports with LNG tanker terminals (Marseille-Fos, Dunkirk, Nantes-Saint Nazaire) currently offer LNG bunkering services by truck. Despite not having a terminal, the port of Le Havre uses trucks to provide an LNG refuelling service.


Highlights NPF (date of adoption: 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. 

Electricity – 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.

Electricity – planes at terminals: 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.