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NPF highlights

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English translation: luxembourg npf.en.pdf

Original language: luxembourg npf.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 government does not generally favour just one alternative fuel and has therefore adopted a technologically neutral policy. Each alternative fuel can help to make road transport cleaner provided that this technology helps to achieve the government’s climate protection and air quality objectives. With this in mind, the government stated, in its coalition agreement 2018-2023, that ‘tomorrow’s mobility will be electric’ and that ‘efforts will continue to make Luxembourg, together with other pioneering countries such as Norway, the Netherlands and Portugal, one of the main players in electric mobility’. The development of electric vehicles is key to Luxembourg meeting its CO2 emission reduction targets. Natural gas had been considered a type of transition technology for decarbonising the transport sector. As a result, significant CNG refuelling infrastructure was rolled out. However, due to low use of CNG stations, limited interest in particular among private customers and the anticipated growth in electric mobility, the future role of natural gas in the transport sector has been re-assessed. The government believes that CNG will play only a marginal role and that, as a result, it is more important to focus on promoting electric mobility. The importance of the future role of LNG remains to be determined. Given that viable alternatives to diesel vehicles for long-distance river or road freight transport are currently limited, LNG could act as a type of transition technology for decarbonising this sector. It remains to be seen whether other technologies that are regarded as cleaner could soon result in the role of LNG being limited.

Electricity: since 2017 registrations of electric vehicles have been on the increase, particularly for battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric passenger cars (category M1). The number of battery electric buses has also increased significantly in recent years. For example, only two such vehicles were registered at the end of 2016, whereas, at the end of 2019, 108 battery electric buses were being used on the roads of the Grand Duchy. At the end of 2019, there were nearly 1,000 publicly accessible recharging points in Luxembourg. The majority of these were normal power recharging points, with only a few being high power recharging points. On the basis that 5,225 plug-in electric cars and vans were registered at the end of 2019 in Luxembourg, this corresponds to one publicly accessible recharging point for every 5.43 plug-in electric cars and vans. Given that, in the first national policy framework in 2016, this ratio was 5.49 electric vehicles per publicly accessible recharging point, we can conclude that the recharging infrastructure has expanded since 2016 to the same extent as the number of plug-in electric vehicles.

Hydrogen: There are currently no fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) registered in Luxembourg.

This is mainly due to the fact that there are currently no public or private hydrogen refuelling points operating in Luxembourg and that the nearest refuelling station is around 100 km from the country’s border. Between 2004 and 2006, Luxembourg City was part of a hydrogen bus project, which is why it installed a hydrogen station in Hollerich. This station is no longer operating. Hydrogen propulsion technology is not regarded as sufficiently developed at present. There is continued hope that hydrogen will be one of the main solutions in future mobility as no CO2 is emitted when producing hydrogen by electrolysis where carbon-free electricity is used. The main disadvantages of hydrogen that are currently hindering its development are the high and therefore uncompetitive costs of carbon-free hydrogen production, distribution infrastructure and vehicles.

Natural gas: The number of CNG or petrol/CNG passenger cars, vans and lorries registered in Luxembourg remains low and has fallen since 2017. Only the number of CNG buses and coaches has increased since 2016. This is wholly due to the bus operator Transport Intercommunal de Personnes dans le Canton d’Esch-sur- Alzette (TICE) in the south-west of the country, which has a fleet of 55 CNG coaches. In 2016 there was a well-developed distribution infrastructure, with six publicly accessible CNG refuelling stations. As these stations served only a fleet of around 300 CNG vehicles, this infrastructure was regarded as oversized and unprofitable by its operators, which led to the closure of four refuelling stations in 2019. The TICE bus operator has a gas compressor station for buses, which is not accessible to the public, at its site in Esch-sur-Alzette. It is particularly important to mention that these buses are exclusively supplied with biogas. As regards liquefied natural gas (LNG), there are only LNG lorries registered in Luxembourg.


Highlights NPF (date of adoption: October 2016)

Taking into account the situation of the existing alternative fuels infrastructures, the planned investment projects and the trends and forecasts for the transport sector, Luxembourg has assessed the number of alternative fuels vehicles envisaged by 2020, 2025 and 2030. In the future matrix of alternative fuels vehicles, it has turned out that the different technologies will have to be promoted depending on the type of vehicle and on their intended use.

To this end, the development of electric vehicles is a key element for Luxembourg in terms of compliance with the targets of reduction of CO2 emissions. As defined in the technical and economic study2, electric mobility is a technology that favours in particular private and commercial cars. The average distances travelled by a vehicle in Luxembourg do not exceed 60 km daily and most of the electric vehicles available in the market have already been equipped with this autonomy. Furthermore, for heavy-duty vehicles and buses circulating in urban and peri-urban areas, electric mobility remains the most viable alternative in the future. Natural gas has been considered as a technology of transition to decarbonisation in the transport sector and this resulted in the implementation of an important refuelling infrastructure for compressed natural gas (chapter 1.4). However, the low level of use of the CNG stations, the limited interest showed by the customers, in particular private customers and the estimated significant development of electric mobility have led to a reassessment of the future role of natural gas in the transport sector. Therefore, the Government estimates that the CNG will only play a marginal part and consequently the concentration on the promotion of electric mobility is considered to be more attractive. 

Electricity: To this end, the development of electric vehicles is a key element for Luxembourg in terms of compliance with the targets of reduction of CO2 emissions. As defined in the technical and economic study2, electric mobility is a technology that favours in particular private and commercial cars. With regard to the electric mobility, the technical and economic study on the electric mobility called for a public infrastructure of 1 600 recharging points (≤ 22kW) accessible to the public in order to be sufficient for refuelling at least 40 000 electric vehicles under the scenario whereby 95% of refuelling is made at home. No shore-side power supply is envisaged until 2025

Hydrogen: The hydrogen-powered technology is currently considered not to be sufficiently developed. The Government has decided not to include hydrogen refuelling points accessible to the public in its national policy framework.

CNG: The 6 stations were established almost 10 years ago and serve a fleet of approximately 280 CNG-powered vehicles. The Government estimates that the CNG will only play a marginal part and consequently the concentration on the promotion of electric mobility is considered to be more attractive. As a result of the reduction of refuelling points, the existing fleet of 280 CNG vehicles is of course considered to decrease.

LNG: With regard to the liquefied natural gas (LNG), Luxembourg does not have any refuelling infrastructure, neither for road nor for inland waterway transport.

For long distance road freight transport the viable alternatives to diesel fuelled vehicles have been limited up to date, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) is recognised as useful for this type of road transport. With regard to LNG, the primary objective consists in the installation of an LNG refuelling infrastructure for road transport, accompanied by a parallel development of the LNG vehicle fleet in order to make it profitable. Hence, a 30 LNG vehicle fleet is envisaged.

In terms of inland waterway transport, no specific installation has been envisaged on the Moselle river within the LNG Masterplan, although the Moselle river is one of the tributaries of the main rivers (Rhine, Main, Meuse, Danube) included in this project. LNG fuelled vessels are able to perform a round trip between the port of Rotterdam and the port of Bale without the need of LNG refuelling on the way.