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NPF highlights

Download the full NPF documents:

English translation: portugal npf.en.pdf

Original language: portugal 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: June 2017

With the publication of Resolution No 20/2013 of the Council of Ministers of 10 April 2013, the national renewable energies and energy efficiency strategy was revised by the approval of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the period 2013-2016 (Plano Nacional de Ação para a Eficiência Energética - PNAEE) and the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for the period 2013-2020 (Plano Nacional de Ação para as Energias Renováveis - PNAER). This joint review made it possible to align the objectives of these two plans and, as a result, to adjust supply to energy demand, taking into account primary energy consumption and the contribution of the energy sector to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The National Climate Change Programme 2020/2030 (Programa Nacional para as Alterações Climáticas 2020/2030 - PNAC 2020/2030), approved by Resolution No 56/2015 of the Council of Ministers, is a strategic instrument for mitigating climate change, which aims to promote decarbonisation and ensure a sustainable path towards reducing national GHG emissions.

To this end, the PNAC 2020/2030 sets emission reduction targets for various sectors, including the transport sector: -24% in 2020 and -26% in 2030, compared to 2005.

Given its size, Portugal does not have the capacity (lack of market scale) to simultaneously develop and support the different types of vehicles powered by alternative fuels. When it comes to alternative fuels in light passenger transport, Portugal is focused on electric and LPG vehicles (with the latter technology having already been implemented several years ago in Portugal).



The National Renewable Energy Action Plan for the period 2013-2020 (PNAER 2020), approved by Resolution No 20/2013 of the Council of Ministers of 10 April 2013, defined a set of specific policies and measures for several sectors, including electric mobility. The electric mobility model adopted in Portugal - MOBI.E consisted of a nationwide recharging system accessible to all users. This competitive and open system with low barriers to entry also guarantees technical interoperability (option to recharge any type of vehicle) and service interoperability (access to any recharging point through a single registration or contract and authentication and access mechanism). According to this strategic plan, it is estimated that, in 2020, the electric vehicle fleet in Portugal should number approximately 34,000 electric vehicles, which include light passenger vehicles, freight vehicles, buses and motorcycles. Electric vehicles (in the medium to long-term) can simultaneously serve as a means of transportation and as a device for storing and using electricity, playing a very important role in improving the balance of the electrical system.



Natural gas has not been widely introduced in light passenger transport. At this level, an autogas network has already been developed and implemented as an economically more attractive alternative to diesel fuel, with a current network of around 350 refuelling points. As a result, the expected changes in the fleet of CNG light passenger vehicles should mainly relate to taxi fleets. With regard to the refuelling point infrastructure, compared to the existing network in 2015, it is expected that a further five combined LNG and CNG refuelling points and four CNG refuelling points will be operational by 2025. 



With regard to long-distance heavy goods transport, LNG is currently an alternative to diesel. However, due to the higher cost of purchasing vehicles and limitations in terms of freight transported and range, hauliers are still somewhat cautious when it comes to adopting this technology. However, once the possible technological limitations of these vehicles have been overcome and the cost reduction associated with the increase in their production scale has materialised, and once the infrastructure for the supply of LNG to the TEN-T network is in place, a fleet of heavy goods vehicles with around 200 LNG vehicles is planned for 2025.

With the legislation published in 2014 (Decree-Law No 170- B/2014 of 7 November 2014), passenger and cargo ships in national ports, including the ports that make up the CORE Network (Leixões, Lisbon and Sines), cannot use marine fuels with a sulphur content exceeding 0.10% by mass in a wide range of circumstances. In addition, in view of their location, the ports of the Azores and Madeira are in a strategic position, particularly with regard to the Transatlantic and North African routes, respectively.In the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the availability of LNG in ports could promote inter-island maritime traffic with less environmental impact. Portugal will have five ports with the capability to carry out LNG bunkering operations for ships: Three ports in the Core network (Leixões, Lisbon and Sines) and two ports in the Autonomous Regions (Azores and Madeira).