EIB funds €47m in Volán for eco-friendly buses
Commuters in Hungary will enjoy new, faster, safer and more eco-friendly buses on regional and city lines across Hungary as a result of a €47m loan the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed today with Volán Buszpark Kft, the country’s biggest bus fleet management company.
This is the first tranche of a €140m loan approved by the EIB, which combined with commercial bank finance, will help to upgrade nearly half of Volán’s bus fleet. The loan is provided under the Investment Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) as it addresses the EFSI objective of smart and sustainable urban mobility in the European Union.
With the EIB’s support, Volán plans to add 3,200 new buses over the next four years and improve the energy efficiency, safety and quality of public transport in Hungary, where two-thirds of towns are reachable only by bus. In 2018, Volán transported 700 million commuters across Hungary.
Financing from the EIB, the EU’s climate bank, will make a positive impact on climate and the environment. More than 450 buses, purchased under the loan for inner city routes, should run on alternative fuels, reducing pollution in Hungarian cities. The rest of the bus fleet will run on the latest EURO VI technology engines. With its new buses, Volán will reduce CO² emissions by up to 38% over the next four years.
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova said: “The loan we signed today will make travelling around Hungary more enjoyable, safer and faster. I am particularly happy to see the positive impact this project will have on the environment and pollution in Hungary and Europe alike. I would like to thank Volán for the opportunity to make everyday life better for Hungarians and, as the EU’s climate bank, for the opportunity to do something tangible for our environment.”
European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “This financing under the Investment Plan is a great example of how the EU is helping Member States in their transition to low-emission mobility. Our support will not only reduce CO² emissions in Hungary’s transport sector, but also make travelling safer and more comfortable for commuters on new eco-friendly buses.”
CEO of Volánbusz Zrt. and Volán Buszpark Kft. Ilona Dávid said: “The main objective of Volán Buszpark Kft. is to support VOLÁNBUSZ Zrt., the company providing interurban public passenger transport services, with a fleet of vehicles meeting the requirements of the modern age, and thus to continuously improve the quality of community road transport.
“In addition to increasing the comfort of passengers, the main consideration is to improve working conditions, so when selecting buses we also make certain that the buses support bus drivers as efficiently as possible in order for them to drive safely and comfortably.
“We also consider it our duty for our fleet of vehicles to be as low-emission as possible which can only be achieved by purchasing new vehicles.”
Towards a more eco-friendly Hungary!
The EIB loan supports the Government of Hungary in the ongoing transition towards more energy-efficient and lower-emission public transport in the country and complements current efforts to create an efficient public transport network through an integrated bus and railroad network.
The loan also contributes to national strategies on transport and environment and helps Hungary meet the requirements set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Hungary was the first EU Member State to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016.