In a statement, the institution said that it approved, “under the European Union's state aid rules, a Portuguese scheme worth €48 million to support the purchase of zero-emission buses - electric or hydrogen-powered -, as well as public transport infrastructure related to recharging and refuelling, for the public road passenger transport sector in the Lisbon and Porto metropolitan areas”.

This measure will be financed by the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, the core part of the Covid-19 post-Crisis Recovery Fund, adds Brussels, noting that direct grants are not reimbursable.

According to information provided by Lisbon to Brussels, “the beneficiaries will be selected through an open and transparent tender process”.

“The Commission has assessed the measure under European rules on state aid and […] believes that it will encourage the adoption of emission-free public passenger buses, thus contributing to the reduction of CO2 [carbon dioxide] and pollutants, in accordance with the climate and environmental objectives of the EU and the goals established by the European Ecological Pact”, says the community executive.

According to the institution, this state support is still "limited to the minimum necessary, since it will be granted through a competitive bidding process and with necessary safeguards in place".

“The Commission has concluded that the regime's positive effects on the EU's environmental and climate objectives outweigh any potential distortions of competition and trade caused by the support”, it adds.