Green light from Brussels: Environmentally-friendly buses are now ready to take off. The European Commission has approved funding alternative drive options in passenger transport under state aid law. The technology-neutral ‘Guideline on the funding of alternative bus drives in passenger transport’ is therefore now available.

Battery, fuel cell and battery trolley buses as well as biomethane-powered buses of the M2 and M3 vehicle classes will be eligible for funding, as well as the infrastructure required and feasibility studies.

The guideline specifically targets transport companies. According to current financial planning, a total of 1.25 billion euros will be allocated to technologically-neutral funding until 2024, supplemented by further funds for 2025.

Specifically, the following elements are eligible for funding:

  • The procurement and conversion of buses with alternative drives as well as the procurement of the necessary operational infrastructure with:
    • 80% of the additional investment costs incurred for battery, fuel cell and battery trolley buses compared to diesel
    • 40% of the additional investment costs for bio-gas buses compared to diesel,
    • 40% of the total investment costs for the non-public infrastructure required for operation.
  • Feasibility studies


The text of the funding guideline and the documents on the first two funding calls for the procurement of ‘buses and infrastructure’ as well as for the preparation of ‘feasibility studies’, can be found here.

Outlines and applications can be submitted via the easy-online system from 15 September 2021. Preparation of the required documentation can begin immediately. Outlines and applications can be submitted until 5 October 2021 (for investment projects) or until 30 November 2021 (for feasibility studies).

The guideline also continues previous BMVI funding opportunities in the field of battery-electric local public transport offered through the Electric Mobility funding guideline. In this way, research projects for electric mobility applications can continue to be funded as was previously the case. There is currently a relevant funding call open until 30 September 2021. The results of previous research work on these projects and the programme support will be presented to the broader public on 23 September 2021 at the online conference: ‘Alternative drives for climate-friendly public transport’.

Detailed information and application documentation can be found on the website of Project Management Jülich (PtJ):


Further up-to date information on mobility with alternative drives and fuels can be found regularly in the NOW GmbH Newsletter.