E-mobility: Germany is allowed to promote buses with alternative drives

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The federal government is allowed to allocate 1.75 billion euros in funding for buses with alternative drives. The European Commission announced this on Tuesday. The funds are also used to support the fueling and charging infrastructure for fan tools that are battery, fuel cell or biomethane powered. There are also environmental studies on the use of such buses.

The financial support for public transport in Germany is in line with EU state aid rules, announced the commission. The scheme will be partially financed from the Reconstruction and Resilience Facility (RRF) after the Commission had given the German Reconstruction and Resilience Plan a positive assessment in June this year and it was adopted in the Council.

The funding promotes the introduction of zero-emission and low-emission buses for passenger transport and thus helps to reduce CO2– and pollutant emissions. The Commission writes that this corresponds to the EU’s climate and environmental goals and the goals of the European Green Deal.

The federal government wants to promote the purchase of the buses directly, the money should not be repaid. The aid is proportionate and limited to a minimum, since the amount of the aid is set in a tendering procedure and there are, for example, price caps for the purchase of the buses and a maximum aid per beneficiary and project. According to the Ministry of Transport, the aid quota is up to 80 percent.

Three and a half years ago, the EU Commission approved subsidies for electric buses and their infrastructure planned by the German government. At the time it was about 70 million euros. At that time, the funding seemed too scarce, also in view of the fact that an e-bus cost 700,000 euros more than a burning counterpart. There was also only a limited selection of models.

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