The EU bank and the PUNCH Group join forces to promote the decarbonisation of passenger, commercial and industrial vehicles through the development of hydrogen and electric propulsion technologies and related energy storage systems.

EIB lends €40 million to the PUNCH Group to develop hydrogen technologies

The investments will be made mainly at the company’s plants in Turin (Italy) and, to a lesser extent, in Strasbourg (France).
The EIB loan is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) — the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the PUNCH Group, a leading innovative Belgian mid-cap developing propulsion and control systems for hybrid and electric vehicles, have signed a €40 million finance contract in support of the company’s research, development and innovation (RDI) activities. The investments will be made mainly at the company’s headquarters in Turin (Italy) and, to a lesser extent, in Strasbourg (France).

The EU bank’s funding, backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) — the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe — will enable the PUNCH Group to develop technologies for hydrogen engines and related energy storage systems (fuel cells) for the automotive, commercial and industrial vehicle sectors, aimed at promoting sustainable mobility and the deployment of innovative technologies across Europe.

EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti stated: “Operations like this one with the PUNCH Group are key to promoting the decarbonisation of the automotive, industrial and commercial vehicle sectors through the development of innovative solutions such as hydrogen, fuel-cell and electric engines. The EIB, as the EU climate bank, plays an important role in transforming mobility and moving it towards a low-carbon future.”

European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “Investing in technologies that promote sustainable mobility is key to reaching our climate objectives. So it is great news that the EIB, backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, will provide this financing for the development of technologies for hydrogen engines for commercial and industrial vehicles in Italy and France. This will create jobs and support the development of innovative green technologies for the benefit of all Europeans.”

“The EIB’s support will be a key factor in implementing our vision of sustainable mobility for all. We wish to expand our technological expertise in the field of electric and hydrogen propulsion and we believe in the huge potential of hydrogen engines, especially for heavier or commercial vehicles, off-road vehicles and the marine sector,” said Guido Dumarey, owner, founder and CEO of the PUNCH Group.

This operation is in line with the Paris Agreement and the Bank’s transport sector financing policy as it contributes to the decarbonisation of the automotive, commercial and industrial vehicle sectors and the adoption of green technologies based on hydrogen and electrification.

PUNCH Torino was founded in 2005 as the Engineering and Development Centre of General Motors. Since 2020 it has been part of the PUNCH Group serving as a state-of-the-art facility for propulsion and mobility systems. Its affiliate PUNCH Hydrocells is working actively on converging the expertise acquired on the conversion of diesel engines to run on hydrogen.

Background information

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It provides long-term financing for sound investments that contribute to EU policy. The Bank finances projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2019 and 2021, the EIB Group provided more than €36 billion in financing for projects in Italy.

European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first loss guarantees that enable the EIB Group to invest in riskier projects. EFSI financing for projects and contracts has unlocked investments totalling €524.3 billion, which have benefited over 1.4 million small businesses. EFSI financing in Italy to date is intended to trigger €76 billion in additional investment. The Investment Plan for Europe has now been replaced by InvestEU, although it is still possible for certain previously approved transactions to be signed.

PUNCH is an independent supplier for the development, integration and production of competitive transmission and engine solutions. PUNCH Torino is the company’s main facility for the development of innovative propulsion systems and control solutions. PUNCH’s range includes transmissions (PUNCH Powerglide) and kinetic energy recovery and storage systems (PUNCH Flybrid). The PUNCH Group has 1 750 employees in seven locations in Europe and Asia and has an annual turnover of over €600 million. Punch Powertrain is not part of the PUNCH Group.