Rotterdam electric buses to boost sustainable public transport

rotterdam electric buses
© iStock/funky-data

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €115m loan agreement to provide hybrid and electric buses and charging infrastructure throughout Rotterdam.

The EIB loan will enable Dutch public transport operator RET to invest in 105 Rotterdam electric buses and 103 diesel hybrids, install 32 electric bus chargepoints at depots and a further 17 along bus routes; and complete maintenance on Rotterdam’s tram and metro tracks. According to national targets set by the Dutch government, all buses in the Netherlands must be electric by 2030; and RET anticipates this new investment will put Rotterdam well ahead of the target.

RET CFO Frank Hoevenaars said: “This loan allows us to keep the cost of capital very low, since we benefit from the low interest rate that the EIB offers. Over the coming years, we will gradually pay back the loan through our revenues, such as ticket sales and operating subsidies. This will also allow us to stay true to our goal of keeping the costs for the traveller as low as possible.”

The EIB’s financing for Rotterdam electric buses and infrastructure is supported by the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Debt Instrument; the CEF will also issue RET with a subsidy to accelerate its investment in sustainable transport and infrastructure.

Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, said: “We are happy to support Rotterdam’s efforts in making its public transport more sustainable through the Investment Plan for Europe. The city sets an example for the transition to low-emission mobility across Europe.”

EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudak said: “With its strategy to switch over to completely emission-free vehicles, Rotterdam is a front-runner, and this loan is an important step in that process. The EIB is happy to support modern, comfortable transport for all citizens of Rotterdam, which will also contribute to better air quality in the city.”

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