At the beginning of August this year, the EU approved the new funding guideline for commercial vehicles with alternative drive systems. The guideline marks the launch of an attractive funding programme for battery, fuel cell and (overhead line) hybrid electric vehicles, the corresponding refueling and charging infrastructure as well as feasibility studies.

In specific terms, the funding guideline encompasses three elements as part of the implementation of the overall climate-friendly commercial vehicles concept:

  • Funding for the purchase of new climate-friendly commercial vehicles in EC vehicle classes N1, N2 and N3 as well as commercial vehicles in EC vehicle classes N2 and N3 that have been converted to alternative drive systems, amounting to 80% of the additional investment costs compared to a conventional diesel vehicle
  • Funding of the refuelling and charging infrastructure required for the operation of climate-friendly commercial vehicles to the amount of 80% of the total project-related expenditure eligible for funding
  • Funding for the preparation of feasibility studies on the possible use of climate-friendly commercial vehicles and the construction or expansion of the corresponding infrastructure amounting to 50% of the eligible project-related expenditure


The sector is showing strong interest in the new programme to support climate-friendly commercial vehicles, which is being coordinated by NOW GmbH. Applications with a funding volume of around 300 million euros were received by the granting authority, the Federal Office for Goods Transport (Bundesamt für Güterverkehr), for the first funding call (more details, in German, here), which was open until 27 September 2021:

  • 445 applications for commercial vehicles with climate-friendly drive systems with requested funding of around 254 million euros
  • 154 applications for operational charging infrastructure with requested funding of around 46 million euros
  • 30 applications for feasibility studies with requested funding of around 1 million euros


Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: “The figures are the proof – our new funding programme for climate-friendly commercial vehicles and the associated infrastructure has been extremely well received by the industry. Around 2000 battery, fuel cell and hybrid electric trucks were applied for in the first call for funding. The task now is to get the vehicles on the road as quickly as possible and thus actively reduce emissions in road freight transport.”

Against the backdrop of the funding level of 80% of the additional investment costs, the applications will be decided upon within the scope of a competitive procedure. The central prioritisation criterion is the expected CO2 savings per euro invested. The first decisions are expected to be issued at the end of this year.

The second funding call is to be published in the first quarter of 2022. In this call, operational hydrogen filling stations will also be eligible for funding for the first time. The corresponding approval from the European Commission has now been obtained.

Applications for public hydrogen filling stations have already been possible since 19 October 2021 as part of the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). More information, in German is available here.

By 2024, the BMVI will provide a total of around 1.6 billion euros to support the purchase of climate-friendly commercial vehicles and around 5 billion euros for the development of the refuelling and charging infrastructure (cars and trucks).

Further information (in German):