The European Commission and the Italian bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) will provide more than $110.1 million to Italian oil and gas producer Eni for the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging networks. The funds will go to Be Charge, an Eni-owned company. The company stated in a statement that the funds will be used to build a high-speed charging network for EVs. Reportedly, the network, currently slated for operation by 2025, would become one of the largest in Europe.

The CDP and the European Commission both contributed equally to the loan. More than 2,000 “ultra-fast” charging stations with a minimum power output of 150 kW will be part of the network. It will run along the main European transport corridors through Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, and Greece. Through the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Framework, the Commission announced its share of the investment in September 2022. According to the reports, the plans come as the EU continues to grapple with opposition to its proposed combustion engine ban.

In October 2022, EU leaders agreed to finalise a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035 in an attempt to maintain climate targets. Italy is among the countries whose governments have opposed the law. Opposition from Germany caused a delay in the ban’s final approval, initially scheduled for March 2023.