Transport minister Stephen Hammond has made a written statement to Parliament about EU plans to encourage the development of alternative fuels infrastructure across Europe.

Hammond will be attending a meeting of the EU Transport Council on December 5 and reported that alternative fuels would be on the agenda.

He said: “The Council will be asked to reach a general approach on a proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (clean power).

“The UK recognises that alternative fuels infrastructure is an area that can benefit from regulatory support, but is not convinced that setting rigid, mandatory targets for the deployment of technology specific infrastructure is an effective way of building consumer confidence in new technology.

“So we welcome the approach taken to replace the targets proposed with a more comprehensive and detailed approach to the national policy frameworks. This will allow us to provide transparency and predicatability to the market, and mitigate the risk of technology specific infrastructure being outpaced by future innovations, advancements and ultimately becoming redundant.

“We support the proposals to adopt common technical standards for refuelling across the EU, but are clear that this must not create additional barriers or disadvantage early movers, who must be able to retain confidence that infrastructure installed across the EU today and in the future is available and compatible for them to use.”