The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission have agreed to combine long-term financing and short-term grants to improve the funding of green infrastructure, critical to helping the bloc achieve its climate targets.
The EIB will provide its long-term financing and the Commission its short-term grants to fund the development of infrastructure including electric vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refuelling stations.
The combined funding will be issued through the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (AFIF).
The facility will release €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) in funding towards the development of infrastructure by the end of 2023, as part of the €7 billion ($8.1 billion) Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) transport programme.
The smart transportation infrastructure will be deployed through the TEN-T road network, which aims to connect EU member states with clean transport and energy infrastructure.
Kris Peeters, vice-president of EIB, said: “Catalysing the development of alternative fuels infrastructure is crucial to putting the European Union on track to meeting the European Green Deal’s objective of cutting transport emissions by 90% by 2050.
“We can make each euro more impactful by offering a smart way to combine available EU financial support, and getting more private investors on board. Ultimately, this will accelerate the development and deployment of transport innovation and new, sustainable infrastructure.”
Adina Valean, EU commissioner of transport, said the facility will enable the bloc to install 1 million EV charging points by 2025 and 3.5 million units by 2030 to meet the growing demand for chargers owing to the increased use of smart transportation.
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Valean, added: “To hit our target, we need an investment of roughly €1.5 billion annually. AFIF is a new addition to our range of financial support options, bringing together funds from the EU budget, from institutional investors and private lenders to achieve a higher impact.”
The European Commission will manage the grant component directly whilst the EIB will not be involved in the Commission’s management or decision-making processes.