European Commission (EC) authorities say Romanian plans to support the creation of a network of recharging stations for electric vehicles are in line with EU State aid rules.

The measure will contribute to reducing CO2 and other pollutant emissions without unduly distorting competition in the single market notes the EC.

“Romania will contribute to the fight against global warming, in line with the European Green Deal’s objectives,” said EC Competition Policy EVP, Margrethe Vestager.

“This scheme will reduce harmful car emissions and improve the health of citizens, without unduly distorting competition.”

The scheme, which will have a budget of EUR53m (US$58m) covering the period from 2020 to 2025, is expected to stimulate investments into recharging stations for hybrid and battery electric vehicles in Romania. It will cover urban, sub-urban and rural areas and aims to develop a network of recharging stations, which will cover the entire country.

The scheme is open to all economic operators meeting certain criteria, for example in terms of plug equipment. The beneficiaries will be selected through an open tender procedure and support will be awarded in the form of grants.

The Commission assessed the measure through EU State aid rules, and in particular Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities which pursue a common interest, in certain conditions.

The Commission considers the measure will encourage a significant uptake of low-emissions vehicles.

Furthermore, the Commission found the aid will be granted through a competitive bidding process and the necessary safeguards limiting the aid to the minimum will be in place.

The Commission concluded the contribution to EU environmental and climate goals of the scheme outweighs any potential distortion of competition and trade brought about by the support.