Europe's Investment Bank (EIB) has approved EUR600m (US$728m) in financing for Valeo's research projects related to technologies designed to reduce CO2 emissions and improve active safety.

The EIB financing package is to fund Valeo's research and development projects in Europe, mainly in France, but also in Germany, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

An initial loan of EUR300m has recently been signed.

The loan, due to be paid out by May, 2022, will be dedicated to research projects in the areas of electrification and the improvement of vehicle energy efficiency (48V systems, battery cooling systems, energy-efficient thermal comfort systems, et cetera), as well as safety improvement (driving assistance and autonomous driving systems, smart lighting and wiper systems), areas in which market demand and Valeo's growth potential are strongest.

Valeo's investments in these projects will amount to more than EUR1.4bn during a four-year period.

In 2019, 57% of Valeo's original equipment sales were generated by technologies which reduce CO2 emissions and 36% by technologies that improve active safety.

In 2019, nearly half (47%) of orders booked by Valeo concerned innovations, which did not exist three years ago.

Valeo recently announced its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 across its entire value chain; which includes its suppliers, its own operating activities and the end use of its products and reach 45% of this objective by 2030.

The EIB is a long-term partner of Valeo's. In 2009, the EIB granted it EUR300m to finance research into technologies designed to reduce carbon emissions and improve active vehicle safety.

"The EIB's support for Valeo's research and development programmes is central to its mission to support investment in innovation," said EIB VP, Ambroise Fayolle.

"Mastering these new technologies is of crucial importance for Europe in enabling industry to successfully transition to a new, low-carbon and more environmentally friendly model."

For his part, Valeo chairman and CEO, Jacques Aschenbroich, added: "This financing is extremely important, particularly given the profound transformation taking place in the automotive industry.

"It will enable us to continue our research efforts and strengthen our technological leadership in the key areas of reducing CO2 emissions and improving road safety."