The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced an equity investment of €15m in electric vehicle (EV) charging point operator (CPO) Eldrive.

Eldrive has operations in Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Romania where it has installed more than 1,200 charging points across main cities, highways, and country roads.

By 2028, the company plans to expand its infrastructure by installing and operating an additional 7,400 new EV charging stations, supplementing the 900 it already operates across these countries.

The EBRD will join Austrian clean energy and e-mobility investment group Renalfa Solarpro Group, which is also Eldrive’s owner, in the initial phase of development.

Additionally, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a €40m venture debt facility to support this expansion.

According to the EBRD, its investment supports the commitment of the European Union (EU) towards decarbonisation.

The EU Green Deal aims to install one million public EV charging stations across the EU by 2025 and increase this number to three million by 2030. Currently, central, southern, and eastern European markets lag behind their western counterparts in the availability of EV charging infrastructure, said the EBRD.

EBRD Europe, the Middle East and Africa infrastructure director Sue Barrett said: “This is the EBRD’s first equity investment in a charging point operator and we are pleased to support Eldrive’s expansion plans in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania.

“We hope this investment will pave the way for many other EV infrastructure investments across the region and help speed up the decarbonisation of the transport sector in Europe.”

Eldrive offers an integrated smart platform for charging electric vehicles, featuring convenient payment options via mobile app or radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. The platform includes 24/7 monitoring, billing, reporting, technical support, and customer service, managing the charging station network remotely.

Eldrive CEO Stefan Spassov said: “We are excited to welcome the EBRD as an equity investor in Eldrive. Being the first CPO to receive such an investment makes us proud and shows the potential and resilience of our business strategy and model.

“This is great recognition not only for Eldrive but for the whole European electric mobility sector.”