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European Commission - Press release

State aid: Commission green-lights German green cars infrastructure

Brussels, 13 February 2017

The European Commission has decided that Germany's scheme to roll out a network of user-friendly infrastructure for charging electric vehicles across the country is in line with EU state aid rules. It addresses a real gap in the market without unduly affecting competition in the Single Market.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said that "Electric vehicles can provide real benefits to society by reducing harmful emissions and noise pollution. The German support scheme will encourage consumers and businesses to use electric vehicles. It will provide the necessary infrastructure in a cost-effective way in line with EU state aid rules".

At a cost of in total €300 million over four years, this measure promotes the installation of new standard and high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles, as well as the extension of the existing infrastructure. The scheme is open to all, including companies, individuals and local authorities, and support will be awarded progressively through an open and transparent tender procedure. It requires that the electricity for the charging infrastructure comes from renewable energy sources.

The Commission considers that this measure will encourage a significant uptake of electric vehicles and therefore make a major contribution towards meeting the common interest of reducing emissions and improving air quality. The measure will also support the European Strategy for low-emission mobility, in particular in terms of the objective of speeding up the deployment of low-emission alternative energy for transport and contributing to the decarbonisation agenda.

This support measure is expected to stimulate investment in a market that still requires incentives before it can function on its own. The Commission expects that the financial support for the construction of charging infrastructure will create the conditions for its further expansion without any further support in the future. It will also encourage the use of electric vehicles on German and European roads.

On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure is in line with EU state aid rules (Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), which allow aid to facilitate the development of economic activities in the common interest under certain conditions.

The non-confidential versions of this decision will be made available under the case number SA.46574 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website, once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. The electronic newsletter "State aid Weekly e-News" lists the most recent state aid decisions published in the Official Journal and on the website.

IP/17/266

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General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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