EIB agrees to loan for installing EV charging points in Italy
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that it will loan EUR115 million to a subsidiary of Italian energy company Enel to support the expansion of Italy's electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. According to a statement, it will see around 14,000 chargers installed between 2018 and 2022 by Enel X Mobility. The loan, which will be repayable over 10 years and will be guaranteed by Enel SpA, will cover a portion of the around EUR300 million this is expected to cost.
Significance: EV penetration is currently very low in Italy compared to other large vehicle markets in the European Union (EU). Part of the reason for this is the lack of support for the technology, in terms of government-backed incentives to sway consumers in this direction, as well as the availability of chargers. The loan agreement should help some way to changing this trend, by boosting the number of publicly available sites in the country. The roll out should bring 7,000 sites online by the end of 2020 before the remainder arrive in 2022. By this point, there will also be far more vehicles using this type of powertrain, including FCA, the biggest selling OEM in the country. Indeed, as part of its recent strategy, the automaker indicated that it will introduce electric variants of the next generation Fiat 500 as well as Maserati's and Jeep's. It now remains to be seen whether the Italian government will also join this party by offering far greater support for this technology than it previously has done. Certainly there have been signs from the new coalition government that there will be a deeper focus, but with other issues that need to be dealt with, it is unlikely to be high up its list of priorities.
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