Funding call for feasibility studies launched

The Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV – Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr) has launched a new call for funding for the switch to buses with alternative drive systems and the corresponding infrastructure required for their operation. Funding is available for feasibility studies on the changeover to battery-electric and fuel cell-based drives. The target group is transport companies that are converting their bus fleets in the near future.

Daniela Kluckert, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Digital and Transport: “By 2030, half of all city buses should be electric. To achieve this, we are providing targeted support to municipal and private transport companies. With our already implemented funding calls for procurement, we are supporting the ramp-up of climate-neutral battery and fuel cell buses on the roads. The feasibility studies create the basis for the further changeover of the vehicle fleet.”

Outlines for the preparation of feasibility studies can be submitted via the easy-online application platform until 28 February 2023. Detailed information, application documents and advice on the current funding call can be found on the websites of Project Management Jülich (PtJ) and the programme company NOW GmbH.

The subject matter of these studies may include preliminary investigations and analyses on the following topics:

  • Fleet, pool and depot analyses with the aim of converting to alternative drives
  • Provision of alternative and innovative vehicles
  • Route and deployment analyses: development of adapted circulation plans for the use of buses with alternative drives
  • Infrastructure requirements and needs: Considerations for the development of the charging and refuelling infrastructures required for operation
  • Analyses of energy supply: e.g. design of grid connection, integration of renewable energies, grid situation, storage requirements
  • Measures to increase the efficiency of the overall system or to integrate local renewable generation capacities: including the use of controlled charging (charging and load management), electricity and energy storage and local hydrogen production for sector coupling
  • Economic and environmental assessment of the effects of switching to alternative drives

Funding of up to 200,000 euros (net) can be applied for per project.

Online seminar on the funding programme

During an online seminar to be held on 17 January 2023 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., NOW GmbH and Project Management Jülich (PtJ) will go into detail about the contents of the new funding call for feasibility studies. Interested parties will receive information on the funding guideline, the procurement calls and have the opportunity to ask questions. Registration is possible here.

Nationwide funding for currently more than 3,000 emission-free buses

In many German transport companies, the conversion to alternative drive systems has already begun and the demand for the funding programme is very high. In the first funding call for procurement, 61 transport companies with around 3,000 buses were funded. Most applications were for battery-electric buses (80 percent), fuel cell drives accounted for about 15 percent and biomethane buses for approx. 5 percent.

The second funding call ended in July this year. Due to the high demand, the applications were prioritised according to criteria defined in the funding call. The applications are currently being evaluated. According to current planning, a total of about 70 transport companies can receive support. More than half of the funding is earmarked for private transport companies and SMEs.

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

Further information (in part in German only):