Bus transport in Berlin will become fully electric: the first phase of the transition is supported by funding from the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Federal Ministry of the Environment. The Berlin public transport operator “BVG” will convert its fleet on regular services to electric buses, thus providing the largest fleet of electric buses owned by a transport operator in Germany.
On Wednesday, 27 March 2019, the BVG presented the first new electric buses in the presence of Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer and Federal Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze.
Local public transport buses cover thousands of kilometres in German cities each day. Therefore, the BVG's decision to convert their entire bus fleet to electric buses states an important contribution to making Berlin's air even cleaner. We are funding this project with around 13 million euros. For all transport operators that would like to follow the BVG's example, there is good news. Starting today, applications can be submitted for the procurement of electric vehicles and corresponding charging infrastructure. For this alone, funding totals around 90 million euros.
The fact that the largest German bus fleet is converting its motor pool to electric drivetrains only is a sign for the whole of Germany. This will encourage more transport operators to follow the BVG's example. It will bring us closer to our objective, namely to create an environmentally and climate-friendly transport sector. Electric buses have three obvious advantages: they emit zero carbon emissions, they are cleaner and significantly less noisy. Therefore, we as the Federal Government are funding electric mobility, especially the deployment of electric buses. To this end, the BVG will receive up to 35 million euros from the Federal Ministry of the Environment.
The conversion of the fleet is a joint endeavour of the BVG, the Federal Government and the federal state of Berlin. As a first step, the BVG is planning to purchase a total of 225 electric buses and will cover the expenses that would have incurred for comparable diesel buses. The additional costs in comparison to regular diesel buses will all be covered by funding through the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety as well as the federal state of Berlin. Funding for the vehicles and resulting costs for infrastructure will partly be covered by funding programmes of the Federal Ministries of Transport and of the Environment.
The BVG will receive a total of 48 million euros of funding from the Federal Government, of which around 12.7 million euros are currently funded through the Federal Ministry of Transport's “Electric Mobility” programme. The Federal Ministry of the Environment is planning to fund vehicles and infrastructure through the “Funding for the Acquisition of Electric Buses” programme with around 35 million euros.
The Federal Ministries of Transport and of the Environment are supporting the BVG's project as part of the “2017-2020 Immediate Action Programme for Clean Air”. The buses will mainly operate on routes that mostly pass areas in which the nitrogen dioxide load is especially high.