The EU is contributing over 54 million euros to several transport projects with alternative drive systems. Funding is being provided for projects in Spain, Italy and France so far. The scheme is a rolling call.
In detail, the EU is paying for the procurement of 108 electric, H2 and natural gas buses including infrastructure in Barcelona, the purchase of 303 electric buses including charging infrastructure in Paris and 255 charging stations in Italy.
This is the result of the second call for funding under the CEF Transport Blending Facility program. In a first call, 70 million euros have already been made available for ten projects. The program aims to use public grants to convince private sector actors to contribute to the improved sustainability and efficiency of the transport sector in Europe by “substantial participation”.
The program is a so-called “rolling call”, meaning that applications are received on an ongoing basis and projects are approved regularly. It will expire when the budget is exhausted, or by March 2021 – whichever comes first. “The Blending Facility rolling call is mobilising resources from both the EU and the private sector,” says Dirk Beckers, Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). It shows how a mix of public and private investment in the transport sector can help create a seamless infrastructure the continent needs.
The Commission does not provide further details on the above-mentioned electromobility projects in its communication. However, it has been known from Barcelona since June that the transport company Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) intends to procure hydrogen buses in addition to electric buses. The Parisian public transport operator RATP plans to deploy up to 800 electric buses by 2024. In Italy, the aforementioned 255 charging stations are to be built along with the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the so-called Comprehensive Network.
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