High support for low-emission transport

A growing trend is the development of electromobility as one of the strategic aspects of the Polish economy. Recently the stage of the legislative procedure was completed which involved gathering public comments on a draft regulation concerning a Low-Emission Transport Fund. The draft legislation would introduce specific financial tools to support development of the market and infrastructure of alternative transport fuels.

In the middle of the previous year, the idea of establishing the fund became clear following implementation of the amended act on biocomponents and liquid biofuels. It was made possible to provide various types of direct support for projects which facilitate the implementation of electromobility in Poland. The legislation stated that financial aid for specified activities can be requested inter alia by:

·         manufacturers;

·         producers;

·         port managers;

·         farmers; and

·         scientific entities.

The draft regulation defines both the nature of entities who are eligible to apply for co-financing and the form of such support. For example, as regards the construction/development of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, such support can be requested by distribution network operators, operators of public charging stations and suppliers of charging services, as defined by the relevant electromobility legislation. Support will be granted in the form of subsidies or loans.

Construction of charging points

Among the entities who can apply to the Fund are those designated to build charging points at public charging stations. If the number of specified charging points is below the statutory minimum for a given municipality, the selected operators of electric power distribution systems would be obliged to build them. The draft regulation would provide such entities with a realistic opportunity to be reimbursed for such (essentially compulsory) capital investments. It is envisaged that charging infrastructures may receive financial support at 50% of the eligible costs, granted as a loan or a subsidy.

Purchasing electro-buses

The draft regulation states that subsidies will be available inter alia to purchase electro-buses, trolleybuses, buses powered with compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas or hydrogen, and electric vehicles used to provide public utility services (e.g. garbage trucks). The draft legislation specifies the maximum subsidies available for particular vehicle types. For example, as regards electric bus purchases, the subsidy would cover 55% of the eligible costs, subject to a maximum limit of PLN 1,045,000 per one bus.

The draft regulation clearly defines the value of subsidies available to interested entities for purchasing new electric vehicles. For the first time, direct financial relief is available up to a maximum of PLN 36,000 per vehicle, which will constitute a more concrete motivation to purchase such vehicles than excise tax relief or depreciation write-offs.

Who decides about support?

The procedures for applying to the Fund are strictly defined in the Biocomponents Act.  There are two application procedures – i.e. competitive and non-competitive. The manner in which projects will be selected for financial support by the Fund is indicated by the Minister of Energy, which regulates the Fund. Support will be granted on the basis of proceedings conducted by the National Fund of Water Management and Environment Protection (NFOŚiGW) and further recommendations delivered to the Minister of Energy, who may either approve or reject the requested support. Upon fulfilment of all criteria for selecting a project, the type and level of financial aid will be regulated in an agreement to grant support for the project.

The introduction of the Fund represents an opportunity for many innovative projects. The flexible nature of the pre-conditions for receiving support, due to the introduction of a non-competitive application procedure, seems particularly interesting in the context of realising the most ambitious goals of those entrepreneurs who are involved with low-emission transport.


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