The European Commission has approved a Romanian funding project for the development of a charging station network for e-vehicles as compatible with EU state aid rules.
The scheme has a budget of €53 million and aims to stimulate investment in the construction of charging stations for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in Romania between 2020 and 2025, in order to create a network of charging stations throughout the country (cities, suburbs and rural areas).
As the European Commission has said that the aid scheme will not unduly distort competition. “Romania will contribute to the fight against climate change in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal”, says Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “This regulation will reduce car pollutant emissions, which should have a positive impact on the health of citizens”.
The aid is to be granted in the form of grants through a tendering procedure. The scheme would be open to all economic operators, provided that they meet “certain criteria”, such as “charging plug equipment”. The EU Commission has not provided further details concerning tender criteria in the press release.
Romania is considered a late bloomer in terms of charging infrastructure and electric car adoption. In 2018, the Romanian subsidiary of the Italian energy utility Enel, in particular, announced that it intends to establish around 2,500 charging points in the country by 2023. So far, the Romanian company Renovatio e-Charge is one of the larger operators in the country, but Lidl and Kaufland also have numerous charging points at their branches there – partly in cooperation with Renovatio.
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