State aid: Commission approves €500 million German scheme to support publicly accessible recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles
Daily News 28 / 06 / 2021
Source: European Commission Spokesperson's Service
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €500 million German scheme to support investments in publicly accessible electric recharging points for electric vehicles in Germany. The scheme will be partly funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), provided that the Commission’s positive assessment of Germany’s recovery and resilience plan is adopted by the Council, and partly by national funds. The measure will support the installation of new fast and standard recharging points and their connection to the grid or the upgrading or replacement of existing recharging infrastructure. Under the scheme, the support will take the form of non-repayable grants and the beneficiaries will be selected through an open and transparent competitive bidding process. The Commission assessed the scheme under EU State aid rules, and in particular Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which enables Member States to support the development of certain economic activities, subject to certain conditions. The Commission found that the aid is proportionate and limited to the minimum necessary, in particular as it will be granted through a competitive process. The Commission also considers that the scheme will encourage the shift from fossil fuels to electric mobility through the development of an open and user-friendly national recharging infrastructure. The Commission therefore concluded that the measure will contribute to the reduction of CO2 and pollutant emissions, in line with the EU’s climate and environmental objectives set out in the European Green Deal, without unduly distorting competition. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. All investments and reforms entailing State aid included in the national recovery plans presented in the context of the RRF must be notified to the Commission for prior approval, unless covered by one of the State aid block-exemption rules, in particular the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). The Commission will assess such measures as a matter of priority and has provided guidance and support to Member States in the preparatory phases of the national plans, to facilitate the rapid deployment of the RRF. At the same time, the Commission makes sure in its decision that the applicable State aid rules are complied with, in order to preserve the level playing field in the Single Market and ensure that the RRF funds are used in a way that minimises competition distortions and do not crowd out private investment. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.60775 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.