Green light from Brussels: The funding guideline for commercial vehicles with alternative drive systems submitted to the European Commission for official notification by the German Federal Ministry of Transport can now be launched after obtaining approval. Now, an appealing funding programme is available for battery, fuel cell and (overhead line) hybrid electric vehicles, corresponding refuelling and charging infrastructure as well as feasibility studies.

Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer: “A breakthrough for the commercial vehicle sector. With the new funding programme, we are introducing a huge incentive for transport companies to switch to climate-friendly commercial vehicles. This is because we are not only supporting the purchase of such vehicles, but also the necessary refuelling and charging infrastructure. More freight will be shifted to the railways. But it is also a fact that roads will continue to account for a large share of freight transport. Which is why it must quickly become cleaner. The demand for clean vehicles is accordingly high and availability is increasing. My appeal to industry: Seize this opportunity!”

Specifically, as part of the implementation of the overall concept of climate-friendly commercial vehicles (Gesamtkonzepts klimafreundliche Nutzfahrzeuge), the funding guideline comprises three elements:

  1. Funding support for the purchase of new climate-friendly commercial vehicles of EC vehicle classes N1, N2 and N3 as well as commercial vehicles of EC vehicle classes N2 and N3 converted to alternative drive systems in the amount of 80% of the additional investment expenditure compared to a conventional diesel vehicle
  2. Funding support for the refuelling and charging infrastructure required for the operation of the climate-friendly commercial vehicles amounting to 80% of the total project-related expenditure eligible for funding
  3. Funding to support 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


By 2024, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) will have made a total of approximately 1.6 billion euros available to support the purchase of climate-friendly commercial vehicles and approximately 5 billion euros for the development of the refuelling and charging infrastructure (cars and trucks). In addition to other BMVI measures to promote electric mobility, the new funding guideline will also be funded from these titles.

Further details of the funding are set out in the text of the guideline and the first funding call dated 2 August 2021, which can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG – Bundesamt für Güterverkehr), the granting authority.

Subject to approval by the European Commission, hydrogen filling station infrastructure is planned to be included in the funding for the next funding calls. A funding call for hydrogen refuelling station infrastructure under the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) will also be published in the second half of 2021. Through the NIP, refuelling infrastructure can be funded independently of the procurement of a vehicle.

Further information on the funding guideline and funding call can be found here (in German)