- The financing is earmarked for an ultra-fast electric vehicle charging network with a focus on the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T).
- The operation will speed up the electrification of road transport in Spain, avoiding around 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2031.
- The project contributes to the EIB’s cohesion objectives, as a large part of the network is expected to be installed in EU cohesion regions.
- The initiative is financed under the Future Mobility product, backed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Zunder, an independent operator of ultra-fast electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Spain, have signed a €40 million loan to finance the installation of a fast and ultra-fast charging network along the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) in Spain. The project is in line with EU policies on sustainable transport and low-emission mobility.
The €40 million EIB loan will fuel Zunder’s development plan and speed up the electrification of road transport in Spain, avoiding around 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions between 2023 and 2031. This all falls under EU objectives such as decarbonisation, sustainable transport and TEN-T infrastructure development.
Zunder’s plan to build more than 4 000 ultra-fast charging points in southern Europe will be bolstered by this financial support from the EIB in Spain, shortening timelines and increasing the number of projects it can carry out under its expansion plan.
Most of the chargers are expected to be installed in EU cohesion regions, where the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is below the EU average, such as in Castilla y León. This is where Zunder is based, in the city of Palencia. This operation therefore demonstrates the EIB’s commitment to prioritising projects in these regions of Spain and Europe, contributing to its cohesion and regional development objectives.
EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix highlighted: “We are pleased to be joining forces with Zunder in a project that promotes electric mobility in Spain. Investing in infrastructure that facilitates electromobility will open the way for electric vehicles and help to decarbonise transport, one of the sectors with the highest greenhouse gas emissions. As the EU climate bank, we support projects that speed up the transition to more sustainable mobility. This operation not only meets this priority, but also promotes innovation and job creation.”
Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “This type of Large-scale initiatives are just what we envisaged when we included in our Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy the ambition of having at least one million public recharging points on our roads by 2025. We are committed to accelerating the transition towards sustainable mobility and we aim to scale-up investment not only through the Connecting Europe Facility, but also with the EIB through the InvestEU Programme.”
Daniel Pérez, chief executive officer of Zunder, concluded: “This partnership between Zunder and the EIB marks another step towards expanding the ultra-fast charging network. It gives us the means to be part of the change in the way we move around and to help decarbonise Europe.”
EIB and European Commission support for sustainable transport
In 2016, the European Investment Bank and the European Commission launched the Cleaner Transport Facility. This aims to promote cleaner transport vehicles and build the key infrastructure needed to run them, such as charging and refuelling facilities. Under this programme, the Bank has financed 15 000 electric and hybrid vehicles in various European countries, cleaner buses in France and the Netherlands, and the installation of thousands of electric vehicle charging stations in Italy, Spain and Slovakia.
The European Investment Bank also finances individual projects that drive greener, safer and more accessible transport around the world. The Bank has supported the integration and decarbonisation of transport in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The EIB’s transport lending policy, revised in July 2022 following the adoption of the EIBs Climate Bank Roadmap and the European Green Deal, aims to support the goals of a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050. The policy outlines the eligible investments that are most effective at addressing the challenges of the transport sector, and that will therefore have a greater impact on its shift to a more sustainable model. Safe, accessible, green and efficient are the four key and interdependent pillars of sustainable transport. This operation stands out for being linked to both electrifying transport and developing intelligent transport systems.
Zunder — a proprietary technology
Founded in 2017 by Daniel Pérez, Zunder has established itself as the leading independent operator of ultra-fast electric vehicle charging facilities in Spain. It is backed by international investors such as Mirova, which recently acquired a €100 million stake in the company.
Zunder’s growth extends beyond Spain — in 2022 it began expanding internationally, having won its first public tender in France. It hopes to install and operate more than 4 000 charging points and manage more than 40 000 through its platform by 2025, and plans to invest €300 million over the same period.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is an EU funding instrument designed to boost growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investments at European level. In addition to the CEF grants managed by the European Commission, the EIB implements the CEF Debt Instrument (CEF DI), a risk-sharing instrument that notably covers the transport and energy sectors. CEF grants and CEF DI may be combined where necessary to support projects.
The Future Mobility facility is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the EIB established under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Debt Instrument, which aims to support Europe’s decarbonisation agenda, with an emphasis on cleaner, safer and smarter transport solutions. The Future Mobility facility can be partially funded by the NER300 programme established by the European Union.
Zunder was founded in 2017 by Daniel Pérez and Lorenzo Antolín in Palencia, Spain. It is the highest-rated independent operator of ultra-fast charging infrastructure in the industry. As part of its international expansion plans, it will soon open its first charging point in France, to be followed by Portugal and Italy. Zunder hopes to be operating more than 4 000 charging points and managing 40 000 through its platform by 2025.
Zunder’s charging network can be used by all types of electric vehicle. Payments can be made via the app, Plug&Charge or an RFID key fob. Contactless payments are also accepted, meaning users do not need to be registered. As a result, it is now the most highly rated charging network among electric vehicle users.