Supporting EV charging infrastructure in eastern Europe and the Baltic states

Source: 6/14/2024, Location: Europe

EBRD supports electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania
Bank takes equity stake in charging point operator Eldrive
Eldrive to add 7,400 charging stations, boosting EV infrastructure in three countries

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is making an equity investment of €15 million in Eldrive Holding GmbH (Eldrive), a leading regional charging point operator in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania. By 2028, it will install and operate 7,400 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in addition to 900 it already operates, expanding the EV infrastructure currently available in those countries.

The EBRD will invest alongside Renalfa Solarpro Group, Eldrive’s owner, in the first phase of development. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is also providing a €40 million venture debt facility.

This investment supports the European Union’s commitment to decarbonisation. With the transport sector responsible for 22 per cent of global CO2 emissions in 2022, EU countries are accelerating the rollout of clean electric mobility. The EU Green Deal’s objective is to reach one million public EV charging stations in the EU by 2025 and three million by 2030. Currently, central, southern and eastern European markets are lagging behind western European countries in the availability of EV charging stations.

Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Infrastructure in Europe, the Middle East and Africa said: “This is the EBRD’s first equity investment in a charging point operator (CPO) and we are pleased to support Eldrive’s expansion plans in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania. We hope this investment will pave the way for many other EV?infrastructure investments across the region and help speed up the decarbonisation of the transport sector in Europe.”

Stefan Spassov, Eldrive CEO, commented: “We are excited to welcome the EBRD as an equity investor in Eldrive. Being the first CPO to receive such an investment makes us proud and shows the potential and resilience of our business strategy and model. This is great recognition not only for Eldrive but for the whole European electric mobility sector.”

Eldrive is a leading regional EV CPO in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania, facilitating the acceleration of EV uptake and bolstering the decarbonisation of transport, critical at this early stage of market development.

Renalfa Solarpro Group, an existing client of the EBRD, is an Austrian-based clean energy and e-mobility investment group with a focus on renewable energy generation assets. The group currently has solar and windpower projects under construction and development with a total capacity of 3 GW in Bulgaria, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland and Romania

The EBRD, a leader in climate finance in central and eastern Europe, Central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, has aligned all its activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement and committed to making at least half of its annual investment volumes green by 2025, a goal the Bank has met for the past three years.

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