• de
  • en

German Ministry releases funding for 1699 buses – more yet to come!

Berlin has already a sizable fllet of e-buses, but will benefit from funding of another 350 vehicles | © UTM/b

In September 2021, the German government announced a far-reaching subsidy for the procurement of electrically powered buses and associated infrastructure, and project applications had to be submitted by November.

We reported on this here:


Eligible for funding are the procurement and conversion of buses with alternative drives as well as the procurement of the infrastructure necessary for operation with the following funding rates:

– 80% of the additional investment costs compared to the diesel reference for battery, fuel cell and battery trolleybuses,

– 40% of the additional investment costs compared to the diesel reference for biogas buses,

– 40% of the full investment costs for the non-public infrastructure required for operation and feasibility studies.

The funding programme is deliberately designed to be open to all technologies in order to provide the appropriate technology option for every application context. The focus of the funding is on the procurement of buses with alternative drives based on battery, battery overhead line and fuel cell technology, as well as buses that run 100% on methane produced from biomass. In addition, the procurement of charging as well as hydrogen and methane refuelling infrastructure for the operation of the buses and the preparation of feasibility studies are supported.

Both operators in Hamburg – VHH and HHA – already have various electric buses in its fleet, here two MAN Typ Lion’s City 12E of HHA (left) and VHH. 472 more e-buses will be funded | © MAN Press

Funding approved

The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMDV) has now announced the approval of part of the EUR 1.25 billion in funding earmarked for various e-bus projects until 2024, with further funding earmarked for 2025. Federal Transport Minister Dr Volker Wissing handed over the funding notes totalling approximately EUR 600 million for the procurement of climate-friendly buses.

About 1,700 buses will be procured by transport companies under the new “Directive on the Promotion of Alternative Drive Systems for Buses in Passenger Transport”, of which 1,390 are battery buses, 148 are fuel cell buses, 51 are overhead line buses and 110 are gas buses. The associated maintenance and charging infrastructure is also subject to funding.

The following transport companies have received funding decisions to date (incl. planning figures for vehicles):

  • Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HHA): 289 electric buses
  • Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH): 183 electric buses
  • 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
  • Bremer Straßenbahn Aktiengesellschaft: 50 battery buses
  • Städtischer Verkehrsbetrieb Esslingen am Neckar: 51 battery-trolleybuses
  • AeroGroundFlughafen München GmbH: 72 battery buses
  • Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG): 350 battery buses
  • Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH: 108 fuel cell buses

Some of the funding commitments include investments in related infrastructure. In Hamburg, for example, this includes 486 charging stations for the HHA and a further 216 for the VHH.

The current handover of notifications marks the start of the processing of the first call from last year. Further applications are currently being processed. The second funding call is currently being planned and is expected to be published in the second quarter of 2022.

Battery trolleybuses are included in the funding package: Esslingen will extend the network to cover the entire city – here a Solaris articulated vehicle in “Metrostyle” design | © Franz Grantl
More about the project here: https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/46-battery-trolleybuses-for-esslingen/
RVK Regionalverkehr Köln will purchase 108 more fuel cell buses – here two Van Hool at the depot in August 2020 | © Christian Marquordt
Mercedes-Benz eCitaro Gelenkbusse in service at MVG München in February 2022 | © UTM/b
71 more battery buses for Munich will get funding: Ebusco 2.2 at Scheidplatz in February 2022 | © UTM/b
4.5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments