Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

Brussels, 25 May 2023

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €179.5 million Croatian measure to support Project 3 Mobility LLC (‘P3M’) in the development of innovative urban mobility solutions based on fully autonomous connected driving. The project will be partly funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (‘RRF’), following the Commission’s positive assessment of the Croatian Recovery and Resilience Plan and its adoption by Council.

The aim of this research and development (‘R&D’) measure is to support P3M in the development of an urban mobility service based on a fully autonomous electric vehicle (a so-called ‘robo-taxi’). The measure is part of a wider urban mobility project in Zagreb, which will enable users to combine multiple transport modes via a single integrated mobility service platform. If successful, this urban mobility model could be expanded to other EU cities.

The aid will take the form of a direct grant to P3M, covering around 45% of the eligible costs. If the project turns out to be very successful, generating additional earnings, the beneficiary will return part of the aid received to Croatia (claw-back mechanism).

The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular under Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and the 2022 State aid Framework for research, development and innovation. The Commission found that the measure is necessary and appropriate to support the development of innovative urban mobility solutions, thereby contributing to the EU’s strategic objectives related to the digital transition. Furthermore, the Commission concluded that the aid will facilitate the development of an economic activity and have an ‘incentive effect’ as the beneficiary would not carry out the investments in the absence of the public support. Finally, the Commission found that the measure is proportionate and will not have undue negative effects on competition and trade in the EU. On this basis, the Commission approved the Croatian measure under EU State aid rules.

The Commission assesses measures entailing State aid contained in the national recovery plans presented in the context of the RRF as a matter of priority and has provided guidance and support to Member States in the preparatory phases of the national plans, to facilitate the rapid deployment of the RRF. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.101759 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

Source – EU Commission

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