Alongside infrastructure development and the regulatory framework, an important component of the BMDV’s package of measures from the overall concept for climate-friendly commercial vehicles is funding for vehicles. The associated funding guideline comprises three elements. The current funding call is focused on feasibility studies.

The “Guideline for Funding Support of Commercial Vehicles with Alternative, Climate-friendly Drive Systems and Associated Fuelling and Charging Infrastructure” (KsNI – “Richtlinie zur Förderung von Nutzfahrzeugen mit alternativen, klimaschonenden Antrieben und dazugehöriger Tank- und Ladeinfrastruktur”) contributes to the market ramp-up of zero-emission commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles with climate-friendly drive systems need to become economically viable when compared to conventional vehicles as quickly as possible. The rapid spread of zero-emission vehicles contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in this vehicle segment and to the achievement of the climate protection target in road freight transport.

With a funding ratio of 80%, the funding guideline significantly increases the level of assistance compared to previous funding programmes and, with an initial term until the end of 2024, creates a long-term perspective and thus planning security. The focus of the funding programme is on the technologies named in the German government’s Climate Protection Programme 2030: Battery, fuel cell and trolley hybrid drive systems.

Commercial and municipal enterprises as well as corporations and institutions under public law and registered associations are eligible to apply. Leasing rates and rental costs are not entitled to funding under the programme. However, leasing or rental companies can qualify as funding recipients. In this case, leasing or rental companies are obliged to fully pass on the funding received to their customers via the rental or leasing conditions.

With this funding guideline, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) supports the procurement of commercial vehicles with batteries or fuel cells in EC vehicle classes N1, N2 and N3 as well as the procurement of plug-in hybrid and trolley hybrid electric vehicles in the EC vehicle class N3. Funding is also available for road-registered special vehicles corresponding to the categories specified for commercial vehicles. The acquisition of converted diesel vehicles of EC vehicle classes N2 and N3 to electric drive (battery or fuel cell) is also eligible for funding. In addition, the refuelling and charging infrastructure required for the operation of the commercial vehicles applied for will also receive funding support.

With the funding of feasibility studies, the funding guideline creates the opportunity to systematically prepare the procurement of climate-friendly commercial vehicles and the refuelling and charging infrastructure required for their operation and to clarify open questions regarding the use and/or integration of commercial vehicles with alternative drives in one’s own fleet.