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Germany awarding €600M to transport companies for zero- and low-emission buses

Germany is awarding some €600 million to transport companies for the purchase of climate friendly buses. Around 1,700 buses will be procured by the transport companies with this tranche of funding from the new “Directive on the Promotion of Alternative Drives of Buses in Passenger Transport”. Around 1,400 are battery-electric; 150 fuel cell; 50 overhead line; and 100 gas buses. The associated maintenance and charging infrastructure is also supported.

Eight companies received their funding notices on Thursday:

  • KVG Kieler Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH: 50 battery buses

  • Stadtwerke München GmbH: 71 battery buses

  • Transdev GmbH Berlin: 325 battery buses, 40 fuel cell buses, 110 biomethane buses

  • Bremen tram joint-stock company: 50 battery buses

  • City of Esslingen am Neckar: 51 battery trolleybuses

  • AeroGround Flughafen München GmbH: 72 battery buses

  • Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG): 350 battery buses

  • Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH: 108 fuel cell buses

Last week, funding notices were handed over to the transport companies Hamburger Hochbahn AG and Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH (VHH) in Hamburg.

Further applications from the first call are currently being processed. The second call for funding is currently being planned and is to be published in the second quarter of 2022.

Germany’s BMDV (Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport) has been funding the conversion to climate-friendly transport fleets as part of the "Directive for the Promotion of Alternative Drives in Passenger Transport". Funds of around €1.25 billion euros will be available for this purpose by 2024, with additional funds planned for 2025.

The funding program is designed to be technology-neutral in order to provide the right technology option for every application context. However, the focus is on the switch to battery-electric and fuel-cell-based buses.

The federal government covers up to 80% of the additional costs incurred compared to conventional comparison vehicles; the development of the necessary infrastructure is also part of the funding. Feasibility studies are also eligible, which determine how the conversion to alternative drives succeeds at the respective location.

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