EC approves Czech Republic alternative fuel investment

Plans to create a network of refuelling and recharging stations for zero, and low emissions alternative fuel vehicles by the Czech Republic government have been found not to be in breach of the EU state aid rules. The European Commission have green-lighted the plans today.

In a statement posted on the EC’s Europa website, EC Trade Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy, said: “The Czech scheme is yet another good example of how Member States can contribute to the fight against global warming. The scheme will promote alternative fuels and reduce harmful car emissions, and will encourage consumers and businesses to use greener transportation, without distorting competition “.

Under the scheme, the Czech government is to invest €44.5 million over six years into the construction of publicly accessible recharging and refuelling stations for vehicles that run on alternative fuels including electricity, compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The alternative fuel infrastructure is to be put in place right across the Czech Republic.

Under the scheme, companies that are already active in the alternative fuel sector are able to apply for some of the cash, that will be awarded in four tender competitions through an open and transparent procedure.

One of the drawbacks of developing the alternative fuel fleets of the future is that private companies might not make a profit in installing infrastructure in a timeframe that investors would be happy with. This is why governments and supragovernmental organisations such as the EU need to invest in infrastructure to offset the problems associated with profit. While not massive, the alternative fuel cash pot should encourage quite a bit of investment in infrastructure in the Czech Republic.
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