InvestEU: EIB signs €40 million loan with Eldrive to expand electric vehicle charging networks in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania

  • More than 8 400 new EV charging stations will be built in three Eastern European countries.
  • The project is expected to boost the market penetration of electric vehicles and fight air pollution.
  • This deal affirms the EIB’s support for sustainable transport and EU Green Deal objectives.
  • The financing is backed by an InvestEU guarantee for investments that advance the green transition.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €40 million loan to the Austrian-registered Eldrive Holding GmbH to install 8 472 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania over the next three years. The project supports clean mobility and the EU Green Deal goals for sustainable transport and decarbonization.

This agreement is backed by the InvestEU program, which aims to trigger more than €372 billion in additional investment between 2021 and 2027. The InvestEU program mobilises investment for EU policy priorities like the green transition, competitiveness, innovation and sustainable infrastructure.

With InvestEU and the EIB’s financial support, Eldrive Holding plans to invest about €146 million to deploy 4 376 new EV charging stations in Romania, 2 575 in Lithuania and 1 530 in Bulgaria, accelerating the infrastructure rollout needed to develop clean transport in these three countries, and supporting the transition to climate neutrality.

The project will improve the low market penetration of electric vehicles and charging points in the three countries, and help them deliver on the EU Green Deal objective of having one million public EV chargers and alternative fuel stations spread across the 27 Member States by 2025. These EV charging networks will underpin the shift to electric vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in urban areas of Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania.

“This is a very important project,” said EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris. “The transport sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The transition to e-mobility can help reduce them, as well as air pollution. However, a serious shift to electric vehicles cannot take off without the necessary infrastructure. As the EU’s climate bank, the EIB supports new EV charging networks, and I am very pleased that we will be part of modernising transport in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania.”

Eldrive Holding, controlled by Bulgarian investors, already operates over 1 200 EV charging points in the three countries. EV charging is one of the sectors eligible for additional support under the EIB’s special initiative to support REPowerEU, the EU plan designed to end Europe’s dependence on fossil fuel imports. The EU bank has committed an additional €45 billion in financing, on top of its regular lending volumes, for REPowerEU-aligned projects.

“Securing the trust of the EIB is a substantial milestone for Eldrive. It is an important recognition of the resilience of our business strategy, implementation and growth achieved over the past few years. Having the EIB as a partner on this project will help us quickly and effectively expand our network and become one of the leading charging point operators in Europe,” said Eldrive CEO Stefan Spassov.

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