12 July 2021

The automotive industry is one of the most important industries for the future of the European Union, as it is one of the world’s largest producers of motor vehicles, while accounting for 6.1% of total employment in the Union.

The automotive sector in Europe represents the largest private investor in research and development (R&D).

Bringing together more than 14 million jobs, both direct and indirect, national recovery plans have placed a strong emphasis on the automotive sector.

Over the next few weeks, FI Group will be analysing the investments that each country has proposed in its Recovery and Resilience Plan to obtain Next Generation EU funds.

Spain, the bastion of the automotive sector

The “España Puede” Recovery and Resilience Plan is articulated through 30 components. It is these components that explain the division of the 69.5 billion euros that Spain is to receive from the European Commission.


Both number 1 (Shock Plan for Sustainable, Safe and Connected Mobility in urban and metropolitan environments), which will have 9,336 million euros, and Component 6 (Sustainable, Safe and Connected Mobility), with a total investment of 7,767 million euros, include the measures that have an impact on the automotive sector in Spain.

One of the objectives of the Spanish government is to decarbonise the economy and respond to climate change. On the other hand, with an investment of 2,987.6 million euros, a Trans-European Transport Network-European Corridors will be promoted.

Component 12Industrial Policy Spain 2030, with 3,782 million euros, includes the Programme to boost industrial competitiveness and sustainability, including the automotive sector. 

It is worth highlighting the investment exclusively focused on the sustainable automotive sector mentioned in Component 17, which will have 40 million euros.

Low-emission zone and digital and sustainable transformation of urban and metropolitan transport in municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants2.916
Incentive plan for the installation of public and private recharging points, the acquisition of electric and fuel cell vehicles and lines to promote singular projects and innovation in electro mobility, recharging and green hydrogen to favour electric mobility2.00
Actions to improve the quality and reliability of the local rail service1.620
Trans-European Transport Network – European Corridors2.987,6
Trans-European Transport Network – Other actions1.905
Intermodality and logistics974,4
Support programme for sustainable and digital transport800
Industrial Policy Spain 20303.782
R&D&I in sustainable automotive (PTAS)40

PERTE for the automotive sector

According to the España Puede plan itself, the PERTEs “constitute a figure with a permanent vocation, conceived as a mechanism to promote and coordinate high-priority and emblematic projects”. It is the Council of Ministers itself that will identify the PERTEs and set in motion the process to articulate them.

Due to the importance of the automotive sector in Spain, the PERTE to develop the electric vehicle has been the first to be announced. All operators present in Spain will be able to participate in it, without forgetting the component, telecommunications, energy, logistics, mining, and public administration industries.

The automotive sector in Italy

The Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan -PNR– is developed around three strategic axes that include “digitalisation and innovation”, “ecological transition” and “social inclusion”.

In line with the strategic axes “digitalisation and innovation” and “ecological transition” identified within the NRP, the automotive sector will have to be able to adopt an innovative and integrated approach aimed at addressing the current context becomes fundamental to maintain and/or acquire a competitive advantage in the market.

It is possible to identify within the Plan, 3 components to which 7 investments are connected that could have a direct and/or indirect impact on the automotive sector.

Considering the total amount of resources allocated within the framework of these investments, amounting to some 19 billion euros, it will be essential for economic operators to be able to take advantage of the opportunities foreseen in the NRRP in time (e.g. by participating in the planned calls for proposals) in order to acquire a leading role within the sector.

InvestmentMillon de euros
4.0 Transition13.380
Experimenting with hydrogen for road transport230
Development of electricity charging infrastructure740
Renewables and batteries1.000
Electric bus300
Fund for the National Research Programme (PNI) and research projects of major national interest.1.800
Strengthening research structures and creating “national R&D champions” in key enabling technologies1.600

Relance Plan, France’s objectives for the automotive sector

8 billion euros. This is the budget that the French Recovery and Resilience PlanPlan de Relance, is going to devote to the automotive sector between grants, loans and investments.

Plan Relance has three main objectives for the automotive sector:

  • Renew the car fleet with environmentally friendly cars;
  • Investing to invent and produce in France the vehicles of the future with a budget of 1.5 billion euros, distributed as follows:
    • €200M in subsidies to help subcontractors in their transformations;
    • €600M to help companies in the sector;
    • €150M for R&D grant: green cars, especially hydrogen cars.
  • Supporting companies in difficulty and preserving jobs.
  • Fond Avenir Automobile 2 (FAA2) – 525 M€

The aim of this program is for BPI to invest in capital in some companies to reinforce their equity – I just had one request on this subject one week ago and this is complementary with grants and of course may interest some companies to complete their funding approach

Open Calls

France has been one of the most advanced countries in opening the first calls for proposals. The most important open calls in the automotive sector are related to green cars and vehicles of the future.

  • Hydrogen:
    • INODEMO: innovation grants.
    • Hydrogen Ecosystem: investment grants.
  • Recycling:
    • ORPLAST: innovation and investment grants.
  • Decarbonisation:
    • Decarbonisation of industry: investment grant for projects of more than 3,000 million euros.
    • ASP decarbonisation: investment grant for projects of less than 2,000 million euros.
  • Modernisation:
    • Strategic sectors
  • Innovation:
    • I-Démo
    • CORAM
    • Grant for innovation and development (ADI)
  • Digital:
    • Plateformes ATF – pooling of sectors (investment grant).

In addition to being incorporated in the Relance Plan, the automotive sector is also to receive funds from:

  • COVID -19 grants:
    • Grants limited to €1.8M per company.
  • Future Investment Programme (Programme Investissement d’Avenir IV):
    • Grants and financial advance of 20 billion euros.

Portugal is committed to green transport

The combination of European funds from the Multiannual Financial Framework and Next Generation EU funds will give Portugal access to a volume of around 50 billion euros in the period 2021-2029.

The Portuguese LRP is a national implementation programme, with an implementation period until 2026, and will put in place a set of reforms and investments that will allow the country to return to sustained economic growth, reinforcing the objective of convergence with Europe in the next decade.

Sustainable mobility

This component, included in the Climate Transition pillar, aims to ensure the development of robust projects, with a strong contribution to the improvement of public transport systems.

Specifically, it seeks to promote the strengthening and increased use of public transport with the consequent reduction of dependence on individual road transport.

It also promotes the decarbonisation of the transport sector and contributes to the recovery from the economic and social effects of the pandemic crisis, especially in terms of employment.

With a planned budget of 967 million euros, several investments are planned, such as the extension of the Lisbon and Porto metro networks, the light rail between Odivelas-Loures, the Boavista BRT line and the decarbonisation of public transport.

The reform of the Transport Ecosystem also seeks, from the perspective of environmental efficiency, decarbonisation and energy transition, fitting in with the European Union’s flagship initiatives on recharging and energy supply.

Germany, the motherhood of the Automotive Sector

The programmes in the German recovery and resilience plan (GRRP / Deutscher Aufbau- und Resilienzplan) dedicated to the automotive sector are providing a budget of approximately 11.6 billion euros offered as grants and devided in shorter or longer available calls and IPCEIs (Important programmes of common european interest, which generally have a very short period of expression of interest, the basis of an application.

What is Germany looking for at the Automotive sector?

The GRRP has the following goals regarding the automotive sector:

  • Establishment of an efficient hydrogen economy:
  • Development of a European value chain for fuel cell systems, among others.
  • Establishment of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure
  • Establishing, expansion and development of climate-friendly infrastructure, investment in research and development and promotion of alternative drives, fuels and clean technologies in order to be energy-efficient, climate and environment-compatible an to accelerate energy transition in the transport sector. Implementation of further measures:
  • Electromobility with e.g. premiums for the purchase of electrically powered passenger cars, buses and rail vehicles)
  • Expansion of the charging point infrastructure
  • Digitisation and efficiency enhancement in the area: Automotive ecosystem (KoPa 35c)
  • Positive effects on resilience and employment by promoting structural change
  • Strengthening the European industrial presence in the semiconductor sector along the entire value chain in order to promote a bigger technological sovereignty vis-à-vis non-European countries and their manufacturing companies located there.
  • The aim is to lay the foundations for a sovereign, highly scalable edge cloud infrastructure in Europe. The infrastructure is to be built on highly innovative and real-time capable structures distributed across Europe and at the same time be operated in a highly efficient and energy-saving manner. In Germany, for example, the need for the digital transformation of the entire automotive sector will be considered.
  • Enabling a multi-provider cloud edge continuum
  • Increasing IT security and resilience
  • Strengthening the digital industry in the EU
  • Increasing energy efficiency
  • Fully align with the objectives of the EU Data Strategy, the Green Deal, the Industrial Strategy and the Recovery and Resilience Facility
  • Create an open, global and federated reference architecture for MobileEdge cloud computing enabled by 5G and future Next-Gs and CloudSystems at the edge
  • Development of European open source technologies
  • Privacy-aware, secure data processing and enhancement technologies
  • Openness and accessibility across the EU
  • The IPCEI will contribute to increasing the need for cloud specialists in Europe

Open Calls

ComponentInvestment / reformBudget in mio. €Start date of the CallCall´send date
1.1Decarbonisation solutions using renewable hydrogen in particular1.1.1 Hydrogen projects withinthe framework of IPCEIs(Already closed call)1.50014.02.202119.02.2021
1.2Climate-friendly mobility1.2.1 Subsidies for the construction of filling and charging infrastructure70024.11.2020Q4 / 2021Q4 / 2023        –
1.2.2 Development of electric mobility7507 / 202109 / 2021
1.2.3 Innovation premium to fund the replacement of vehicle fleets250008.07.2020Q4 / 2021
1.2.4 Extension of first registration period for granting of ten-yr. tax exempt. for purely electr. vehicles29522.10.2020Q4 / 2025
1.2.5 Promotion of purchases of buses with alternative drive systems1085Q3 / 2021Q3 / 2025
1.2.6 Subsidies to fund alternative drive systems in rail transport22718.02.2021Q2 / 2021Q3 / 2024
1.2.7 Funding for the vehicle and supplier industry for hydrogen -& fuel cell applications in transp.545,9Q4 / 2021Q4 / 2023Q4 / 2026
2.1Data as the raw material of the future2.1.1 Innovative data policy for Germany516Q4 / 2022Q 4 / 2024
2.1.2 IPCEI microelectronics and communication technologies150001.02.2021Q2 / 2021(closed call)
2.1.3 IPCEI next generation of Cloud Infrastructure & -services (IPCEI-CIS)750Call of interest will follow shortly
2.2 Digitalisation of the economy2.2.1 Investment progr. for vehicle manufacturers/supplier industry1898,5Q1 / 202131.12.202130.06.2024

These open/closed calls are part of the German recovery and resilience plan (GRRP/DARP) and are located and under the rule of following:

  • COVID -19 grants: capped subsidies to 1.8M€ per company
  • De minimis rule (de minimis ceiling / de minimis aid)
  • GBER (General block exemption Regulation)
  • GRRP / DARP as part of NGEU (Next generation EU and its RRF – Recovery and Resilience Facility): european grant.

FI Group has 20 years of experience and wants to accompany you on the new NextGenerationEU path. Our experts are at your disposal to analyze how your project fits into NextGenerationEU and to take the next steps together with you. Contact us.

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