The European Investment Bank has granted a loan of 115 million euros to public transport operator RET in Rotterdam. RET will primarily be using these funds to purchase 105 electric and 103 hybrid buses, along with the associated charging infrastructure.
The operator had already ordered the 103 hybrid buses and 55 of the electric buses from VDL. EIB financing is intended to support RET’s investment programme for the coming years. In addition to the purchase of the buses, almost 70 subway and tram tracks are to be renewed. For the operation of the new buses, 32 charging points in the depots and 17 charging points will also be built.
“This loan allows us to keep the cost of capital very low since we benefit from the low-interest rate that the EIB offers,” says Frank Hoevenaars, CFO of Ret. Vazil Hudak, EIB Vice-President, stated in the Bank’s communication that it is happy to “support modern, comfortable transport for all citizens of Rotterdam, which will also contribute to better air quality in the city.”
In addition to the current financing, RET intends to purchase more environmentally friendly buses. The operator has adopted a ten-year plan and plans to buy 50 more electric buses in 2021 and 2024 each and 110 more in 2029 following the 2018 order.