The successful completion of the trolleybus project was celebrated at a bus station in Solingen together with Federal Minister for Digital and Transport Dr. Volker Wissing and NRW State Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport Oliver Krischer.

In Solingen, buses are electrically powered by batteries and overhead lines on around 76 per cent of the routes. The battery-operated trolleybuses (BOB) are powered exclusively by green electricity. This was facilitated by initial federal funding provided from 2017 to project completion at the end of 2022, as well as subsequent NRW state funding of around 8 million euros.

Launched in 2017, the  project entitled: ‘With battery trolleybus (BOB) and intelligent charging infrastructure towards emission-free local public transport’ was funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport through the implementation of the federal government’s Mobility and Fuels Strategy (MFS) with around 15 million euros in all. The funding measure was coordinated by NOW GmbH. The further expansion of the route network will now be continued through an additional funding commitment by the state of NRW.

The project’s completion was celebrated together with Federal Minister for Digital and Transport Dr. Volker Wissing as well as NRW State Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport at the Ohligs bus station in Solingen. Lord Mayor of Solingen Tim Kruzbach and Managing Director of Stadtwerke Solingen Leif Reitis welcomed the numerous project partners and participants. Reitis commented: “The fact that two ministers from federal and state level with busy schedules took the time to come to Solingen shows how significant this mobility project is and the impact this concept could and should have, far beyond Solingen.”

“Solingen is special”, remarked NRW State Minister Oliver Krischer. Unlike many other cities, Solingen has remained committed to overhead lines and the trolleybus system. Perhaps some NRW cities wish they had made a different decision and not relied on trams, according to the Minister. The joint objective however, is not just to use the now 32 state-funded vehicles in local public transport in Solingen. The message from Düsseldorf is that the state of NRW will increase funding from 8 to 16 million in order to fund 56 BOBs for Solingen.

Federal Transport Minister Dr. Volker Wissing emphasised on behalf of the federal government: “We will continue to show our support. We have a huge interest in achieving the major goal of climate neutrality.” Close coordination will continue to achieve decarbonisation goals, including in the transport sector.


About NOW GmbH

Since 2008, NOW GmbH has been supporting the federal government’s targets in its climate and industrial policy. The tasks of the federally-owned company include developing, monitoring and evaluating funding programmes about climate-neutral mobility and energy supply. NOW GmbH experts supervise projects in the areas of hydrogen, fuel cells, battery and renewable fuels.  They reimagine mobility and fuels for cars, buses, trains, commercial vehicles, ships and airplanes, and support the establishment and further development of charging infrastructure and hydrogen refuelling stations for cars and trucks. More information on NOW can be found here.


Photo: Stadtwerke Solingen