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Bus für den ÖPNV

Source: Adobe Stock / Achim Wagner

The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) has published a new call for applications for funding for the transition to buses with alternative drivetrains and for the infrastructure required for their operation. Funding is available for feasibility studies on the switch to battery-electric and fuel cell-based drivetrains. The call is aimed at transport operators that will convert their bus fleets in the near term.

Daniela Kluckert, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital and Transport:

Half of the city buses are to be electrically powered by 2030. To achieve this goal, we are supporting funding municipal and private transport operators. With the calls for applications for funding for procurement that we have already implemented, we are supporting the ramp-up of climate neutral battery and fuel cell powered buses on the road. The feasibility studies will lay the foundations for the ongoing conversion of the vehicle fleet.

Outlines for the preparation of feasibility studies can be submitted online via the easy-online application platform until 28 February 2023. For detailed information, application documents and advice on the current call for applications for funding, please visit the websites of project management organizations Projektträger Jülich (PtJ) and Programmgesellschaft NOW GmbH.

The feasibility studies may include scoping studies and analyses on the following topics:

  • fleet and depot analyses with the aim of transitioning to alternative drivetrains,
  • alternative and innovative vehicle preparation,
  • route and deployment analyses: development of adapted scheduling schemes for the use of buses with alternative drivetrains,
  • infrastructure requirements and needs: analyses of the deployment of the charging and refuelling infrastructure required for operation,
  • analyses on energy provision, including the design of the grid connection, integration of renewable energies, grid situation, storage requirements,
  • measures to enhance the efficiency of the overall system or to integrate local generation capacities for renewable energy, including use of controlled charging (charging and load management), electricity and energy storage and local hydrogen production for sector coupling,
  • analysis of the impact of the transition to alternative drivetrains from a business management and environmental performance perspective.

Up to 200,000 euros (net) in funding can be applied for per project.

Online seminar on the financial assistance programme

In an online seminar on 17 January 2023 from 10:00 to 11:00 am, Now GmbH and Projektträger Jülich (PtJ) will address in detail the contents of the new call for applications for funding for feasibility studies. Interested parties will receive information on the funding guidelines and the calls for applications for funding for procurement and will have the opportunity to ask questions. Please register at auf folgender Seite.

Funding of currently more than 3,000 zero emission buses nationwide.

Many German transport operators are already in the process of transitioning to alternative drivetrains, and the demand within the financial assistance programme is very high. In the first call for applications for funding for procurement, 61 transport operators with around 3,000 buses received financial assistance. The majority of applications concerned battery-electric buses (approx. 80%), fuel cell drivetrains (approx. 15%) and biomethane powered buses (approx. 5%).

The second call for applications for funding ended in June of this year. Due to the high demand, the applications were prioritized based on the criteria set out in the call. Decisions are currently being made on the applications. According to current plans, a total of about 70 transport operators can be funded. More than half of the funding is earmarked for private-sector transport operators and SMEs.

In addition to procurement, 50 feasibility studies were funded in 2021 and 2022. Further calls are planned for 2023.