The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Banque des Territoires will each invest €100 million in an investment platform to finance the energy transition of bus fleets across France. Managed by Banque des Territoires, this platform will offer innovative financing to local and urban mobility authorities looking to green their bus fleets to reduce their climate impact. The Clean Buses Platform is part of Caisse des Dépôts' recovery plan and environmental transition efforts. The EIB's investment is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Caisse des Dépôts CEO Eric Lombard and EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle have signed an agreement to set up a shared Clean Buses Platform.
This platform is the result of cooperation between the two institutions, which began in 2013. The platform will be endowed with €200 million (half provided by Banque des Territoires and the other half by the EIB) and operationally managed by the investment management teams at Banque des Territoires. The EIB funds will be guaranteed by EFSI, the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.
This initiative reaffirms the commitment of Banque des Territoires and the EIB to the European Green Deal, which aims to make the European Union the first greenhouse gas-neutral economy by 2050. The operation is fully in line with the goal of supporting the greening of mobility, a major pillar of Banque des Territoires' Climate Plan and recovery strategy.
The aim of the platform is to support beneficiaries (mainly local and urban mobility authorities) in greening their bus fleets – in particular through electric buses – by offering an innovative financing solution in the form of contingent bonds. This instrument finances up to 100% of the eligible project costs (purchase cost of buses and associated charging infrastructure) and offers beneficiaries a capped interest rate that fluctuates inversely with changes in electricity prices. This will enable beneficiaries to fully or partially mitigate the risk associated with changes in electricity prices on electric bus energy charges, which is key to the overall economic viability of greening a bus fleet.
The platform thus offers beneficiaries an innovative financing solution that is closely linked to the economic and operational conditions of the financed asset and to the financial constraints of the beneficiary (amount financed, maturity of the loan applied for, amortisation profile) to enable them to control the overall cost of purchasing a fleet of clean buses as effectively as possible.
European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “This agreement is good news for the greening and modernisation of public transport systems in France. With support from the Investment Plan for Europe, €200 million will be made available via a new platform that offers flexible financing solutions to local and regional authorities to make their bus fleets more sustainable. A specific focus will be on vehicles powered by electric energy and related charging stations, thus contributing to achieving our goal of climate neutrality by 2050.”
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said: “As the EU climate bank, the EIB is delighted with the creation of this innovative platform in partnership with Caisse des Dépôts. The transition to a low-carbon economy will play out at the local level and in the day-to-day lives of the French people. Financing and supporting local authorities in their sustainable transport projects is done with a single objective in mind – to make the European Union the first greenhouse gas-neutral economy by 2050.”
Caisse des Dépôts CEO Eric Lombard said: “We welcome the creation of a new co-investment platform with the EIB that relates to one of the core themes of Banque des Territoires' Climate Plan. The contingent bonds offered through this platform respond to one of the major challenges of the energy transition for local authorities in their efforts for more sustainable everyday mobility.”
About Banque des Territoires
Set up in 2018, Banque des Territoires is one of the five arms of the Caisse des Dépôts. It brings in-house regional expertise together within a single structure. It is a single point of entry for clients, providing made-to-measure advice and financing solutions for loans and investments to meet the needs of local authorities, social housing associations, local public enterprises and legal professionals. It is aimed at all French regions, from rural areas to large cities, with the objective of eliminating social and regional inequalities. Banque des Territoires is represented by 16 regional offices and 35 local branches of Caisse des Dépôts to enhance visibility and proximity to its client base.
For more attractive, inclusive, sustainable and connected regions.
About the European Investment Bank
Created by the Treaty of Rome and founded in 1958, the EIB is the European Union's bank, which, together with its dedicated SME support subsidiary the European Investment Fund (EIF), forms the EIB Group. The EIB Group is a key player in reviving Europe's – including France's – economy through investment. Thanks to its reliable expertise and the financial attractiveness of its AAA rating, the EIB Group has strengthened its activities in France since 2012 (reaching €8.5 billion of investment in 2019), not only supporting businesses and innovation but also financing projects in strategic sectors such as climate action, energy, healthcare, housing, education for young people and training infrastructure. The EIB Group is the operator of the Investment Plan for Europe.
To find out more about the EIB: www.eib.org
About the European Fund for Strategic Investments
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first-loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more, and often riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI should make it possible to mobilise €535.4 billion of investment.
To find out more, go to www.eib.org/efsi
 Structured as a simplified joint stock company (société par actions simplifiée – SAS).