The European Commission and the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) have allocated more than 100 million euro to Be Charge, a company wholly owned by Plenitude (Eni), for the construction of one of the largest high-speed charging networks in Europe by 2025. The transaction’s objective is to encourage the development of infrastructure dedicated to electric mobility and accelerate the energy transition.
In detail, CDP, as the national promotion institution, has granted a loan of 50 million euro, to which another non-repayable 50.4 million euro is to be added, allocated by the European Commission to construct a network of over 2,000 “ultra-fast” charging points, with a minimum power of 150 kW along the main European transport corridors of eight countries: Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, and Greece.
The European Commission’s contribution was awarded last September by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) within the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and precisely within the framework of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti acted as an executive partner of the European Commission (implementing partner) for Italy, confirming its role as a facilitator in accessing European programmes and resources for Italian companies and as a lender supporting the development of transport infrastructure and sustainable mobility.
Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, said: “With our Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility, we want to support the fast roll-out of recharging infrastructure. This will enable the market uptake of zero – and low-emission vehicles, and ultimately turn our climate goals into reality. The Be Charge project will make a positive contribution, creating a network of ultra-fast recharging points for electric vehicles in eight Member States. Such a large network will further reassure consumers, encourage them to charge their cars across the EU and thus promote electro-mobility”.
Stefano Goberti, Chief Executive Officer of Plenitude, said: “The funds awarded are a clear recognition of Be Charge’s commitment to the field of electric mobility which represents an important part of Plenitude strategy to support the energy transition. This transaction is part of the Company’s plan, which currently has more than 15,000 charging points, and aims to develop a high-power European infrastructure for electric vehicles and to double its network by 2026 reaching 30,000 points”.
Massimo Di Carlo, Deputy General Manager and Chief Business Officer of CDP, said: “We are proud to have concluded this financing agreement in favour of the Be Charge project to develop an efficient and sustainable transport system and to increasingly steer our commitment towards the energy transition. In addition, the transaction confirms both the profitable cooperation and synergies with all European stakeholders and the role of CDP as a facilitator in accessing European Union resources to implement sustainable projects, of which Be Charge is a virtuous example”.
Eni SpA and CDP SpA are related parties. Both companies applied their own internal procedure in this regard.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is an EU funding instrument to promote growth, employment and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investments at European level. In addition to the grants managed by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) implements the CEF Debt Instrument (CEF DI), a risk-sharing instrument covering the transport and energy sectors. CEF and CEF DI grants can be combined where necessary to support projects.
Plenitude, Eni’s Benefit Corporation (Società Benefit), operates in the energy market with a distinctive business model that integrates renewable production, energy sales and solutions and a wide network of charging points for electric vehicles. In the field of electric mobility, Plenitude has a network of over 15,000 charging points that will be expanded, both in Italy and in Europe, with over 30,000 charging points planned by 2026.
CDP is the Italian National Promotional Institution and the Financial Institution for International Development Cooperation entrusted by the Italian State to foster the sustainable development of Italy and of developing countries and emerging markets. CDP supports economic growth, social inclusiveness and ecological transition by investing in innovation, business competitiveness, infrastructures and local development, having allowed in 2022 the activation of investments worth a total of 30 billion euros (1.7% of Italy’s GDP). Under InvestEU Program, CDP is committed to mobilize up to 750 mln EUR investments and long-term financing in business research and development, social and sustainable infrastructure and affordable social housing projects.