14 electric compact cars, BMW i3 120Ah models, are now operational in Solingen. They are the first of a total of 65 subsidised electric cars which can be used for work-related journeys by the city’s municipal services (Technische Betriebe Solingen), the city’s public order services as well as other municipal services.

The BMW i3 120 Ah, when fully charged, has a range of up to 260 kilometres and is therefore particularly well-suited for service journeys within the city area and its vicinity. 14 vehicles with combustion engines will be decommissioned in favour of the e-cars.

The switch to electric cars is funded under the ‘Local electric mobility’ funding guideline (‘Elektromobilität vor Ort’) in the amount of €1,575,308 by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). NOW GmbH coordinates the implementation of the funding guideline. This subsidy originated from the first measure of the ‘Immediate action programme for clean air 2017-2020’. One of the priorities is the electrification of municipal fleets. The funding amount will cover 75 per cent of the extra investment costs incurred when compared to investment in conventional drive vehicles.

The supply contract awarded to BMW is the result of an EU-wide open tender. Heidi Baltes, who heads the city’s fleet management, explains that the least expensive offer on the market to fulfil the funding conditions was successful. Minus the funding amount, the city is investing 3,700 euros more per vehicle than on a comparable compact car with a conventional drive. The added costs will be recouped through the substantially lower operational costs over the course of the service life.

The city‘s fleet management has ordered a further 13 electric utility vehicles. These vehicles are expected to be delivered and deployed before the end of the year. In addition tendering procedures for more electric vehicles from different vehicle categories are currently underway. They are to be used over the course of the coming year. Here too, extra investment costs will be 75 per cent funded.